Be omnivorous, don't just read one kind of book, read everything. - Richard Wagamese

Monday, April 11, 2011

Review: In Plain Truth by Jodi Picoult

Publisher: Washington Square Press
Pages: 432
Source: Personal EBook
Category: Fiction

A baby is found on an Amish farm, the authorities believe the baby may have been smothered. As the authorities begin to question those on the farm, Katie Fisher is discovered as the potential mother when she begins to bleed uncontrollably. The authorities call for a ambulance, and Katie is carted off kicking and screaming while the medical staff keep insisting that she has just given birth. Katie is denying everything. When Katie is charged with murdering her baby, her family has no intention of helping their daughter. They would let everything fall as it may, everything would be left to “God’s Will.” Katie’s aunt enlists the help of a dear friend named Ellie. Ellie’s role has lawyer becomes also caretaker, and guardian of Katie when the judge allows Katie to be released into her hands. Together, Katie and Ellie return to the Amish farm. Ellie is shocked when her technological life is turned upside down, she’s frustrated when Katie keeps insisting that she did not give birth to this child. How can Ellie defend her, when she won’t tell her anything? Ellie learns the ins and outs of Amish life, and wonders if she has made the correct decisions in taking on Katie’s case. Her own mother and father seem distant and unresponsive. Her brother has been “shunned” from the community and is not to return. Katie and her story slowly unravel to tell a story that is both shocking and intriguing.

I want to first mention that this was my first Jodi Picoult book, and ultimately I’m standing in the middle neither liking or disliking this book very much. My biggest issue with the book is that fact that I never felt attached to any of the characters. All characters are flawed, and realistic but the story never led me to truly care for them. I never rooted for any of the characters. Jodi Picoult flashes back in time to tell the story of Katie, and her iniquitous past. I thought this was well done and it kept me wondering about the ultimate ending. As a reader I felt left in the dark for a good portion of the book. Much of the book felt slow-moving and at times I felt irritated. The trail felt long and tedious. This was not my first Amish fiction book, while Jodi Picoult includes some key Amish components and I didn’t really feel like I was carried away into an Amish culture. At times I felt like it was more stereotypical, than realistic. I really wanted to read this one, but I had a hard time getting through it. I wouldn’t say that I loathed this book, but I felt extremely disappointed. I would like to give Jodi Picoult another change, and try another one of her books.

What are some of your favourite Jodi Picoult books?

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  1. I've only read a short story by her called 'Weights and Measures' and a book, 'Vanishing Acts'. They were not extraordinary but I enjoyed them both - I liked the short story better, I think.

  2. I think this book was made into a made-for-TV movie?? It sounds very much like a movie I saw! Or perhaps it was on Lifetime Movie Network?
    Your review sounds exactly like the movie!
    Same thing with the movie. You don't attach to any of the characters in it, either, except the frustrations of the lawyer.
    Laurie Carlson
    laurieisreading at gmail dot com