Saturday, July 16, 2011

Review - Plain Truth by Jodi Picoult

Published:  May 1, 2000
Publisher:  Washington Square Press
Edition:  Paperback, US
Pages:  432
Source:  Library


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.


Having read and enjoyed 2 of Jodi Picoult's other novels, I decided to pick this one up at my local library.  I love controversial dramas and thrillers so I thought I would very much enjoy this one.  True to her other novels, Plain Truth pulls on your heartstrings and makes you things through someone else's eyes.

Plot:  The novel opens into the situation being investigated.  A young girl stumbles out of her house and into the barn to give birth.  The story then skips to the next day, where the body of the newborn infant is found.  The story is told in present day as well as flashbacks every couple of chapters.  The plot is part mystery, and part drama, and is played out in a manner where it makes the book not too long, but not too short either.  The last quarter or so of the book plays out like a courtroom drama, in which we see Katie being arraigned and tried for the murder of her infant.  The only issue I had with the book was the ending.  Everyone I have talked to that has read this book says they saw the ending coming from a mile away.

Characters:  Personally, a couple of the characters annoyed me.  Katie was just too nice of a person, and even though she is being tried for the murder of her infant, she wants everyone to believe that she can do no wrong.  Most of the time I just wanted to reach through the book and grab her by the hair and just scream at her to stop taking everyone on a wild goose chase and just TELL THE WHOLE DAMN TRUTH!  Samuel, Katie's "boyfriend" came off as a stupid oaf who didn't know a damn thing.  His redeeming characteristic was the fact that he would stand by Katie and defend her whether she was guilty or not.  Ellie, the prosecuter was a strong female character, although I did get kind of mad knowing that as a defense attorney, she was willing to keep her client (Katie) out of jail whether she was guilty or not.  I know that in real life that is how it works, but ugh....The character that I really did like was Katie's estranged brother, Jacob.  He was a caring and considerate character and I wish Jodi Picoult would've given him more page time.

4 out 5 stars


  1. I love Jodi Picoult. I've read ALL of her books shes ever written. I like how she finds different things that happen in the "real world" and turns them into a story in her books. She does enough extensive research to make it even better and more real!

  2. I don't think I've ever read a Jodi Picoult book I didn't love. I own this book but have not read it. I just might have to get to it now.