AN UNEXPECTED PAGE TURNER!
Title: Plain Truth
Author: Jodi Picoult
The discovery of a dead infant in an Amish barn shakes Lancaster County to its core. But the police investigation leads to a more shocking disclosure: circumstantial evidence suggests that eighteen-year-old Katie Fisher, an unmarried Amish woman believed to be the newborn’s mother, took the child’s life. When Ellie Hathaway, a disillusioned big-city attorney, comes to Paradise, Pennsylvania, to defend Katie, two cultures collide — and for the first time in her high-profile career, Ellie faces a system of justice very different from her own. Delving deep inside the world of those who live “plain,” Ellie must find a way to reach Katie on her terms. And as she unravels a tangled murder case, Ellie also looks deep within — to confront her own fears and desires when a man from her past reenters her life.
I have to say that this is probably not the kind of book I would pick up on my own. While I enjoy Jodi Picoult’s books, the subject matter of Plain Truth wouldn’t have made me rush out to purchase it but as it was given to me as a gift I was compelled to read it – and I’m glad that I did.
In Jodi Picoult’s 7th novel, Plain Truth, published back in 2001, she weaves a tangled web of plot in an unexpected setting. The plot is not unique, we have all read stories like this one where a young girl finds herself unexpectedly expecting and is forced into a compromising situation as she tries to navigate her life around a major bump in the road. The Plain Truth differentiates itself by presenting this situation in an Amish community where the lines between right and wrong are not nearly as gray as they are in “the English world”.
The element of this book that really won my respect is how well researched it is, which is made apparent in Picoult’s seemingly effortless portrayal of the Amish mind set and culture. Jodi Picoult has obviously immersed herself in the Amish way of life in order to write her Amish characters with such pure believability. The faith she demonstrates in Katie character, the young Amish girl at the centre of this tale, is so evident it was often frustrating to read because the Amish belief system is so different from my own. But because Picoult handles the Amish faith so well, it is possible to look past the frustrations and really understand what motivates Katie’s mind set. All of the main characters share this depth and it is a joy to peel away their layers as the story progresses.
I found this book wholly enjoyable as it contained all of the elements that make a great story; an unfamiliar setting, deep, complex characters, a little romance, intrigue, drama and a plot twist ending that leaves the reader with their jaw dropped – but also thinking, “I KNEW IT!!!”
Picking up a book like Plain Truth reminds me why I’ve enjoyed Jodi Picoult’s books in the past and has definitely inspired me to read more of this hugely talented author.
Check out my other Jodie Picoult review of The Storyteller