Every so often when I’m reading a book I will come across a sentence or paragraph that is so good I need to highlight it.
With Plain Truth, by Jodi Picoult, much of the book would have been neon orange by the end. She has such a beautiful turn of phrase that feels so natural but at the same time makes you stop and think “wow”.
This isn’t a new book – first published in paperback in 2001 – but it was among my Kindle suggested reads for 99p and I thought “why not?”.
I purchased it at completely the wrong time though because I couldn’t put it down and I really had other things, like blogging, I needed to do.
Here’s the blurb:
Katie Fisher is Amish. For eighteen years, she has grown up in a community set apart from the modern world by lifestyle and belief. It is a community fiercely protective of its way of life.To turn your back on it is to lose everything – your church, your home, and your family.
So in the middle of the night when the baby comes, Katie does the only thing she knows how to do in times of stress: she prays.
Exhausted, she falls asleep. When she wakes, the child is gone. Her prayer has been answered.
But faith alone cannot help when the baby’s body is found.
I admit it was the Amish element that pulled me in. I like the idea of people who adopt simple living and shun many modern technologies – and while I know it is a work of fiction, I figured Picoult must know a fair amount to be confident in writing about the subject. And it certainly seemed that way.
She weaves this knowledge seamlessly into the book, which features original and well thought out characters – from teenagers upwards – and scenes so wonderfully descriptive it feels like you are there.
The plot is meticulously planned, although I felt like some of the information she had already told us was repeated in the court scenes and I skimmed a bit then.
The ending (my goodness, The Ending!) still has me thinking about it long after I’ve finished. I won’t give anything away, just in case you haven’t read it, but I had an idea this was what might happen, especially as it felt like a few more hints started to be dropped. She keeps you guessing right until the final pages though and at one point I even told myself: “Nah, you’re just being suspicious.” Turns out I was right to be suspicious.
I’ve been left with many questions – and no one to talk to about them – and I can’t tell if that’s the sign of a good book or not but, from reading up on it, I think that’s the way Picoult usually does things.
I’d certainly read more of her extensive catalogue of work as a result.
My rating: Three and a half stars.
Have you read it? I really want to talk to someone about the ending.