The small town of Paradise, Pennsylvania, is a jewel in Lancaster County - known for its picture-postcard landscapes and bucolic lifestyle. But that peace is shattered by the discovery of a dead infant in the barn of an Amish farmer. A police investigation quickly leads to two startling disclosures: the newborn's mother is an unmarried Amish woman, eighteen-year-old Katie Fisher. And the infant did not die of natural causes. Although Katie denies the medical proof that she gave birth to the child, circumstantial evidence leads to her arrest for the murder of her baby.
One hundred miles away, Philadelphia defense attorney Ellie Hathaway has achieved an enviable, high-profile career. But her latest court victory has set the sands shifting beneath her. Single at thirty-nine and unsatisfied with her relationship, Ellie doesn't look back when she turns down her chance to make partner and takes off for an open-ended stay at her great-aunt's home in Paradise. Fate brings her to Katie Fisher. Suddenly, Ellie sees the chance to defend a client who truly needs her, not just one who can afford her.
But taking on this case challenges Ellie in more ways than one. She finds herself not only in a clash of wills with a client who does not want to be defended but also in a clash of cultures with a people whose channels of justice are markedly different from her own. Immersing herself in Katie Fisher's life -- and in a world founded on faith, humility, duty, and honesty -- Ellie begins to understand the pressures and sacrifices of those who to live plain. As she peels away the layers of fact and fantasy, Ellie calls on an old friend for guidance. Now, just as this man from Ellie's past reenters her life, she must uncover the truth about a complex case, a tragic loss, the bonds of love -- and her own deepest fears and desires.
Jodi Picoult is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of twenty-eight novels, including Wish You Were Here, Small Great Things, Leaving Time, and My Sister’s Keeper, and, with daughter Samantha van Leer, two young adult novels, Between the Lines and Off the Page. Picoult lives in New Hampshire.
MAD HONEY, her new novel co-authored with Jennifer Finney Boylan, is available in hardcover, ebook, and audio on October 4, 2022.
I really enjoyed this book. In fact, I could hardly put it down from the minute I started reading it. I think Picoult has a genuine talent for writing and coming up with unique story ideas.
There were a couple of things that bothered me at the end, though. I had pretty much figured out halfway through the book that Sarah had been aware of her daughter's pregnancy and was the one who had hidden the dead infant. I really felt, though, that it was inconsistent of Sarah to have both killed the child and to have hidden the fact. First, the author builds the whole story around certain ideas about this Amish community. She makes it clear that Katie would not have been expelled from the community for having a baby out of wedlock, so it seems extremely unnecessary for her mother to have killed the child. It is also so highly out of character and against everything the Amish believe in to commit a violent act, that it just doesn't make sense that Sarah would kill her innocent, newborn grandson.
After killing the baby, it seems even more unlikely that Sarah would not admit to the act after her daughter was accused. It seems much more likely that she would feel compelled to confess and repent, as the author explains again and again is the way the Amish are raised to feel.
The ending was certainly shocking, but it just didn't feel consistent with the rest of the book. A bit of a disappointment after such a good read.
I thought this book was pretty crummy even though it was a page-turner. I really wanted to know what happens to Katie, and what happened to the baby so I kept reading, but I didn't really enjoy the experience--I won't be reading again. Too much filler, not enough book.
Specifically: * It's set among the Amish. However, I get the feeling the author doesn't really understand them, she just thought it'd be a cool setting. That irritates me. * It's full of overused elements, such "city girl goes to farm", "taking break from evilness ambition brings us", "rekindled flame." Some of the dialog is the pretty dumb "You're afraid this relationship might work" sort of thing. Because of this, you can see where it's going miles down the road. Now, I re-read books, so this isn't itself a killer, when I like the trip. * It has ghosts. What's up with that? Not in a freaky arty Beloved way, but just casually thrown in there. * The language is unnecessarily descriptive. You'd think she was being paid by the word.
It did make me think of A Jury of Her Peers, which is worth reading. (And much shorter--that link is to the full text.)
The story follows a murder on an Amish farm. An eighteen-year-old Katie Fisher, Amish girl is accused of murdering her new born baby and must face the court charged with first degree murder. 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 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.
تاریخ نخستین خوانش روز هشتم ماه آوریل سال2022میلادی
عنوان: حقیقت عریان؛ نویسنده: جودی پیکولت؛ مترجم: مهگونه قهرمان؛ ویراستار: علی اصغر عبداللهی؛ تهران، نشر پیکان، سال1400؛ در411ص؛ شابک9789643289188؛ موضوع داستانهای نویسندگان ایالات متحده آمریکا - سده20م
کیتی فیشر «آمیش» است و هنوز ازدواج نکرده؛ او هجده سال در یک اجتماع بسته، و به دور از دنیای مدرن، زندگی و رشد کرده؛ اجتماعی که به شدت از شیوه ی زیست و باورها و قوانین خود، پشتیبانی میکنند؛ پشت کردن به آن جامعه، یعنی از دست دادن پشتیبانی جامعه، باورها، و حتی خانه و خانواده؛ بنابراین هنگامی که در دل شب، نوزاد خویش را تنهایی به دنیا میآورد، تنها کاری را که میداند انجام میدهد؛ دعا میخواند ...، و با احساس خستگی شدید خوابش میبرد؛ آنگاه که بیدار میگردد، از نوزادش خبری نیست؛ بنابراین، «کیتی» باور میکند که دعاهایش پذیرفته شده اند؛ و ...؛
آمیش: مذهبی مسیحی آناباپتیست است
تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 20/01/1401هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Today's 'dilemma drama'? - A dead (newly born) baby is found in an Amish barn deep inside Amish territory. Civilian investigators come to the this beautifully back dropped, but ultra-conservative 'utopia' to find out the truth and if possible, to see someone charged with murder!
With 3rd omniscient and first person narrators telling the story, Picoult quite leisurely goes through the investigation, court prep and trial in a way, I presume, to show readers the Amish way of life. A carefully researched and well thought out dilemma thriller by this writer who re-imagined / reinvented this dilemma-drama sub-genre to be her own! 6 out of 12.
I have read many of Jodi Picoult's books and I have to say this one sucked. I was not intrigued by Katie, I was annoyed and exasperated with her.
The dialogue was cheesy in many areas, and the whole thing with Hannah’s ghost was just stupid. I mean, it really does seem that the only reason the ghost was added was so that the author could explain Katie’s attraction to Adam. Oh look, he’s a ghost hunter and I see a ghost—hmmm, it must be meant to be: we should have sex. Blah.
I’m really disappointed because I tend to enjoy most of Picoult’s novels.
I liked the concept of this book, but was disappointed in the execution of the story line as well as the writing. My criticisms are as follows (spoilers included):
Poor editing left awkward, unfinished, or contradictory elements throughout the book. Ellie argues with Stephen about having a child and says that although he refused to undertake a vasectomy reversal, there are other ways they could have had a baby. Later, the same character said that in her desire for a baby she "wore Stephen down" and they tried for 6 months, but she did not get pregnant because "the relationship was rotten." The story line of Ellie's "problem" with yearning for a child is choppy and confusing - it reads as if the story was going one way initially and then changed course but wasn't fully corrected. Characters were described superficially and changed awkwardly in the novel without the benefit of character development. Ellie had short "man hair", was afraid of relationships, was a hotshot lawyer. Katie is a meek, pure, humble Amish girl. The author spent considerable time building Katie's meekness in temperament and then with only week before the trial, the character goes from barely understanding English and deferring to everything said to her - to using sarcasm, defying her attorney before trial, and there are monumental plot twists revealed about Katie which are poorly executed and not believable. The ghost story line had considerable time spent on it in the beginning, then abruptly ends. It seems like the author intended to do something else with this novel (a paranormal element), but then needed to wrap up and bailed on that story line. Editing could have cut out these unconnected elements and allowed more time to the development of a "voice" or set of circumstances where Katie grows, if the author wanted her to do an about face in personality. In the beginning, the author takes the trouble to point out some character who lives in apartments attached to the barn. Elam? He is introduced and then drops from the story, if this character is central enough that he lives with the family, then keep him in the storyline (or cut this character introduction). I suppose he was intended as a diversion - someone else who could have hidden the baby since he lived attached to the barn - but he lives with the family and is never mentioned again, which is a close inspection of life within the microcosm of a particular family. The sudden revelation that teenage Katie had been taking the train on weekends to visit her bother in college, every month for years, was jarring and simply not believable. It would have been more realistic to have sent her for one rebellious weekend visit as she neared adulthood, but not every month for years while a young minor. Englishter parents would not let a minor child go weekends away to stay with her brother in college, much less a Plain family with an excommunicated son. Also, what college boy would welcome his sister staying for the weekend every month during his college years? Better editing could have made this more believable and authentic. The paranormal-studies field for the baby's father - so odd. This storyline didn't go anywhere, and stood out as an unusual loose end. Again, I suspect there was a ghost story line which was pulled from the book. The letters that the brother held.... this was terribly inconsistent. The author writes on one page Ellie's brother had "no idea" of the relationship with Katie and was shocked at the suggestion - turn the chapter and suddenly he has a huge stack of letters that he never delivered. We are to believe he has no idea of the relationship between his young Amish sister who is sneaking into the city to visit him so that she can see his room mate. Then we learn the brother has a large stack of undelivered letters from the roommate he is keeping from Katie. These plot elements are embarrassingly inconsistently. I also think the undelivered letters was hackeneyed. I was interested in the premise of the book. I think editing could have corrected the contradictory elements, worked in elements where lines were unraveling, and better developed the characters. This could have been a much better book with more attentive editing - and more pointedly, better writing.
There is an Amish community close to where I live in western Pennsylvania. Each summer weekend for the past several years, I have traveled to this Amish community, admiring and purchasing the most beautiful and delectable strawberries, blueberries, tomatoes, peppers and squash... all that summer has to offer in my state's relatively short growing season. Over the years I have also developed a growing curiosity about the way this Amish community lives... close to my own community geographically and yet somehow apart. I have become fascinated with the old farmhouses set back from the highway, unspoiled by utility poles and electrical and telephone lines. I have marveled over their horse drawn buggies and the simple plainness of their clothing.
When I discovered the novel, Plain Truth by Jodi Picoult, my interest was piqued. Although a work of fiction, the author described spending time living with an Amish family in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. She took this opportunity to immerse herself in the day-to-day life of the family.... helping to prepare meals, playing with the children and arising each morning at 4AM to milk the cows.
There are two tracks to this story. The first is a typical storyline in Jodi Picoult's novels and centers around Philadelphia defense attorney, Ellie Hathaway who flees the city.. leaving with her disillusionment over her job and regret over staying in a worn out relationship for far too long. Ellie fled to a place she remembers from her childhood... Paradise, Pennsylvania, home to an Amish community and to her beloved aunt who had , at one time, been part of this 'Plain' community. It wasn't really this aspect of the story I found interesting but rather the second track of the story that captured my thoughts and imagination.
In the middle of the night, in an Amish barn, a young woman labored to give birth to her baby. Although it wasn't clear who this young woman was or what her circumstances were, it WAS obvious that she was frightened and alone. After her son was born, .... feeling exhausted and overwhelmed... she fell into a deep sleep and when she awoke, she believed her payers had been answered..... "Glancing down she realized that a miracle had come to pass: the blood-soaked hay was fresh now, except for a small stain beneath her own bottom. And the two things she had been holding when she fell asleep- the scissors and the newborn-were gone."
This early morning scene in the barn sets up this story.. a story which is mainly a courtroom drama. The young Amish woman in the story, Katie Fisher, is 18 years old, unmarried and lives with her parents, Aaron and Sarah, on their dairy farm. Although she vehemently denied to police and her family that she gave birth, the medical evidence is irrefutable. She gave birth to a baby boy in her parents' barn and the baby HAD been alive when he was born. Katie Fisher was charged with the murder of her son and visiting defense attorney Ellie Hathaway was hired to represent her in court. Although it seems obvious that Katie Fisher did, in fact, kill her infant, as the case unfolds certain facts about Katie's life, her beliefs and her community are revealed which make the question of her guilt murkier and more difficult to ascertain.
Ultimately, and after a couple of plot twists I did not see coming, the question of what happened to Katie Fisher's baby boy was resolved. But it was the details about the Amish community to which she belonged that I found most interesting in this story. Not only was this story a murder mystery of sorts, it was also a thought provoking story about community, justice, morality and redemption. The Amish community live their lives in accordance with the rules of their church.. called the ordnung. As young children, "the very first thing they learn is that there's always a higher authority to yield to-whether it's your parents, the greater good of the community or God." As Ellie was told by members of the community when trying to understand Katie Fisher's state of mind... "The English judged a person so that they would be justified in casting her out. The Amish judged a person so that they's be justified in welcoming her back.If someone is accused of sinning, it's not so others can place blame. It's so that the person can make amends and move on." Ellie also learned another important fact about Katie's community..."The English culture promotes individuality, while the Amish are deeply entrenched in community. To us (the English), if someone stands out it's no big deal because diversity is respected and expected. To the Amish, there's no room for deviation from the norm. It's important to fit in.The consequences of not fitting in are psychologically tragic. You stand alone when all you've known is being part of a group."
This book made me think a great deal about individuality which sometimes seems to be synonymous with self-centeredness versus being part of such a close-knit community. I also thought a lot about the law and how it often can seem like a confusing mish mash of what is legal and what is moral... two things which are not always considered by society to be the same. There are actions in our society which some consider immoral but these same actions are not always thought of as illegal by the state. Judgments are made... and sometimes those judgements seem to be made harshly and without compassion. with the sole intent of casting someone OUT of society. Even after people have paid for their mistakes, they are often NOT welcomed back into society. So I wonder... what kind of society could we have if people who have made mistakes were someday welcomed back... free from judgment and stigma.. to pick up their lives and move on?
This was my first real delve into the Amish world and it was the beginning of a massive internet rabbit hole for me to dive into. As all JP's books this was research heavy and it was really insightful. This is one of those books that modified my world view and gave me a lot to think through. I really love how these books create such morale dilemma's for you to work through.
Of all Picoult's books this is the only one (that I read, and I read ad nauseum - until the formulaic writing got me) that had a really good ending. It wasn't original, it's been done before, but in this context it wasn't guessable. The Plain Truth would make an excellent horror film a la Stephen King.
Plain Truth by Jodi Picoult is another novel by this author that takes headline news, thoroughly researches and writes into a novel. In this story an Amish woman is being tried for murder. Great research, wonderful story line with strong morally standing characters. Light romance.
This is my third Jodi Picoult read, and it wasn't my favorite, though I did enjoy it. The plot of the story really intrigued me because, as is mentioned throughout the story, it's not every day that you hear of a young Amish woman accused of murdering her own newborn. I loved Picoult's attention to detail throughout the story; she obviously did a great deal of research on the Amish way of life and really embraced the characters. Her research shined through the beautifully detailed descriptions of life on an Amish dairy farm and the unique personalities of characters like Aaron Fisher.
I was not very surprised by the ending of the novel, but I did love working alongside the characters throughout the course of the book to unravel the mystery of Baby Fisher's death. While I really do appreciate Picoult's detail and how realistic she made characters like Katie and Ellie, my biggest complaint is that the story just seemed to go on and on. I became fatigued with reading what I felt like were the same scenes over and over, and I felt like the book could have been a good deal shorter. Also, I didn't really get the point of including the ghost/paranormal side story. I understand the message behind what Adam and Katie talked about in relation to energy never dying, just transforming, but it felt like Picoult intended for the ghost storyline to play a larger part and then just decided to kind of let it fade and move on with other elements.
Despite my complaints, I would still recommend this to Picoult fans for what it is: a really descriptive account of the Amish/Plain way of life and how the English and Amish ways of life cross paths.
For sure a favorite of Picoult books for me! I love loved this book. It was interesting and entertaining. I grew up surrounded by the Amish community and this book showcased behaviors and legalities that I was not even aware of. I thoroughly enjoyed it. This is a Picoult book I would recommend to others to start with.
My quick and simple overall: Very enjoyable and hard to put down!
Far be it for me to ruin anything for anyone who has yet to read this, but I really hated the end. I really, really hated it. This book had five stars in my head until I read the ending, if that gives you any indication how much I hated the ending.
Now, that being said: the rest of this book was great. The characters, for the most part, had depth and were questioning various aspects of their own morality. I have to admit that the main character, Ellie, fell a little flat. Okay, a lot flat. What is it with Jodi Picoult and these emotionally incompentent ambitious female attorneys who meet a kind, gentle male and then question their career plans and fear of commitment? It's getting a little old and it's only the second book of hers I've read. I'm kind of hoping it isn't a theme, because I've had several friends promise that other stories of hers are worth reading. I'm not sure I can stand one more two-dimensional character with a brash personality.
The rest of the characters were much better. From the simple and adoring farmboy-suitor, Samuel, who is the Plain match for Katie (our accused) all the way through the stoic and suffering father who is racked with guilt at how his family's lives have turned out, the Amish characters are engrossing. But they seem truly Amish in this: not a single one is more likeable or unlikeable as the next. There isn't a single one who stands out. Even Katie, as a central character, really blends in with those around her.
The underlying themes of disassociation with painful subjects, how to be true to yourself and your beliefs when no one believes you, accepting responsiblity for both appearances and your actions, and ultimately how a lie is okay as long as it makes everything better for those around you (that might be snide, because I don't think that's what the author was trying to convey--did I mention I hated the ending?) will resonate with readers for a long time after the book is closed. I'm not sure it's enough to keep me going back for more, though.
Jodi Pucoult has again demonstrated that she is a master storyteller. In Plain Truth, she weaves the story of Katie, an young Amish woman and Ellie, a thirty something lawyer. Well researched, this novel takes you into an Amish community where you experience life and their beliefs. Picoult keeps the reader entertained until the last chapter.
The Plain Truth is an intriguing and thought-provoking read. It is an excellently written and extremely enjoyable novel that's packed full of suspense. The novel is thoroughly gripping from beginning to end and will educate you and fascinate you at once. The level of research and detail that went into describing the Amish culture was amazing. The characters were realistic, well-developed and likeable, and even though they were from a vastly different culture I still found them relatable.
The book tells the story of Katie, a young Amish woman who is accused of having murdered her newborn baby. Lawyer Ellie, who wants to defend her, tries to find out what really happened, and is deeply drawn into the Amish world in the process … The novel is a well-written psychological thriller about emotions and beliefs, friendship and love and the culture clash of two very different, seemingly incompatible worlds. The problem is just that I a) didn’t quite understand the logic of the plot sometimes, b) had difficulties comprehending some details of the weird legal system in the United States, where it’s obviously more important to tell a good story in court than to find out the truth (I’m a European, sorry! ;-)), and c) saw the solution coming quite early. That’s why I give 3.5 stars.
This was the book that my book group picked for this month. I have never read a Jodi Picoult book, but found this one captivating. I live in "Amish" country in PA and it was interesting to see another view into the Plain culture. The reason for the 3 stars were all the inconsistencies in the book. The author did her research, but...some things that were easy to find out, she flubbed. For example, there isn't a train to State College, PA - there's never been a train there, much to the chagrin of many students. So those flubs made me wonder what else she got wrong . That made it hard to believe her about parts of the Amish culture I didn't know. And the ending...
Will I read another one of her books? Possibly if my book group picks another one of hers. I was concerned about the characters and what was going to happen - the flubs didn't eject me from the story completely -so I probably will!
Apesar de ser um livro já antigo (faz 18 anos que foi publicado) gostei muito de o ler. Desta vez a autora fala sobre a comunidade amish, uma comunidade que já conhecia mas que não sabia a fundo os seus costumes e crenças. É um livro longo, enrola um bocadinho mas lê-se sempre com muita vontade e gosto.
(...) O que talvez mais goste na autora é ela conseguir sempre introduzir diferentes cenários nos seus livros com alguma pesquisa mas sem serem aborrecidos. Desta vez iremos conhecer a comunidade Amish de uma pequena cidade americana. Para quem não sabe os Amish são um povo religioso que surgiu na Alemanha (e isso é bem patente no livro com várias frases em alemão). A sociedade espalhou-se pelos Estados Unidos e Canadá mas hoje em dia são uma minoria (aproximadamente 150 mil). São um povo conservador que tenta viver a vida de maneira simples (daí o título do livro). Não acreditam/usam em tecnologias e até mesmo electricidade. Vivem em quintas, cultivam os seus produtos e comem da terra. Tudo o que represente avanço é contra os valores tradicionais dos Amish, que como povo de culto, a religião está em primeiro lugar.
Embora o ponto principal seja o assassinato do bebé, acho que o tema central sem dúvida são os Amish, especialmente o sistema judicial, quando eles nem acreditam ou seguem qualquer legislação. Foi muito interessante ver que até às próprias testemunhas tinham dificuldade em jurar em tribunal. Todos os costumes de viver uma vida simples vão de encontro ao facto de alguém querer matar um bebé e isso cria ainda mais conflito em toda a trama. De modo a aligeirar o livro, ainda há uma pitada de romance por parte da Ellie que achei desnecessário, embora tenha um meio para um fim muito específico.
O final foi o esperado, pelo menos da minha parte. Já ao início tinha formado duas teorias de quem podia ter assassinado o bebé e adivinhei umas delas, por isso o final para mim foi previsível mas satisfatório.
Se é o melhor livro da autora? Não, de todo. É um livro que foi publicado originalmente há 18 anos atrás e por essa altura já a autora tinha um percurso de grandes livros. Este é um bom livro para quem quer começar a ler Jodi e não queira ler logo os melhores da autora com medo de ir com expectativas elevadas e não gostar. É um livro com um enredo sólido e boas personagens e com o melhor que esta autora sabe fazer: pensar sobre a sociedade de hoje em dia e os nossos valores. Numa altura em que tanto falamos por redes sociais mas cada vez há mais solidão, temos um povo que nem telefones fixos utilizam mas que não falta companhia física e uma mão aberta para ajudar. E se calhar eles é que estão bem.
Nunca tinha lido nada da autora, por isso foi a minha estreia com os livros de Jodi Picoult e correu muito bem. Foi muito interessante saber mais sobre a vida dos Amish. E gostei da parte do julgamento. Mas achei que o livro nalgumas partes era demasiado extenso.
A história passa-se no seio de uma família Amish e logo no início do livro aparece um recém nascido morto. Tudo indica que foi a filha de uma família Amish que deu à luz e matou o bebé. Ellie, uma advogada de sucesso, vai ‘mergulhar’ na cultura Amish e tentar defender o aparentemente indefensável.
A mim faz-me muita confusão tudo o que são extremismos relacionados com a religião, não poder estar com as pessoas de quem gostamos, não nos podermos vestir como queremos e principalmente o afastamento dos filhos por não quererem cumprir determinadas regras.
O livro agarrou-me logo desde início, gostei muito de aprender mais sobre os Amish, é uma história e pêras que nos faz sofrer, ter raiva, ter pena e também, no fundo, compreensão. Gostei mesmo muito e não podia ter tido melhor estreia! Parabéns à Jodie lê-la fantástica pesquisa e pela escrita espectacular!
I was slightly disappointed with this book. I've read much better books by Jodi Picoult. I did learn a lot about Amish culture, something I knew nothing about and this aspect of the book was very interesting and educational. I felt there were a number of things that didn't work for me with this one though. I didn't like the main character, Katie, she came across as cold and distant and I found it difficult to muster up any feeling for her. I felt that the 'ghost' references surrounding Hannah were just silly and unnecessary to the overall plot. There was something just lacking with this book as normally I find Picoult's books very much page turners, but not this one. The ending was very flat and rushed, even with the 'twist'. Actually the twist at the end didn't even make sense to everything we had been told about the Amish culture. Overall an average read, if a bit frustrating. Not one that I would be rushing to recommend, there are better Picoult books.
My interview with the fêted author, taken from Real Bewks Magazine (June 2010):
Tell us about your latest book, My Crazy Family.
It is a tale of families, I suppose. Families and how they screw us up! Ha-ha-ha! In my last book, Auntie Janet’s Gallstone, I drew heavily from my experiences with my Auntie Janet. She is such a brave woman and I felt I had to tell her story, you know? I didn’t even think about it, I just wrote it down. In this book, I took a different approach. I looked at my family and thought God, what a bunch of crazies! This would make for such a funny book, and people could so relate. And judging from the feedback so far, I think they have!
Could you outline the plot for us?
Well, there isn’t a plot as such. I know, crazy right! I just sort of wrote down some of the anecdotes my family tells, or just snippets of conversation. Like one part of the book is just my dad, who is crazy, talking about the time he lost a sock behind the bed, then couldn’t find it for weeks. I won’t spoil the ending by telling you where it ended up! But this book is really, um . . . experimental. It has more in common with really great writers like B.S. Johnson or Gilbert Sorrentino. It’s like a more accessible take on those guys.
Do you have a good relationship with your readers?
Oh, totally. With my last book, I got so many letters from people saying things like ‘my aunt had her gallstones out too, I can sympathise’ and ‘your characters were almost believable.’ I was really moved by some of the feedback I got from you guys! I’m successful ‘cause I’m just like everyone else, you know, writing about regular people I suppose. I’m easy to read. I was discussing this with Mike [husband] by the pool yesterday. ‘Cept he wasn’t listening AS USUAL! He’d lost the keys to the Ferrari, AGAIN!
What advice would you offer young writers?
Write from the heart. Write from experience. Write down the day-to-day details of your life. Don’t worry about spelling or grammar. Just express yourself. Keep an ear tuned to the problems in your family, and write them down. Nothing is sacred. People love reading stuff they can relate to! No detail is boring or irrelevant. We are lucky in this country to have a print culture that encourages people to write the first thing that comes into their head and print it, almost without exception! As long as it is real. And about families. And real. You have to feel it. Did I mention that it has to be real? Ha-ha-ha!
How did you react to your almost immediate success?
I was totally blown away. I’d just starting writing when people were flinging awards at me. I mean, literally – agents came to my house and threw money at me when I was trying to write! It was little distracting to be honest. I mean, it can’t have hurt being married to the man who owns Penguin Books, and having a dad that owns Random House, and performing oral sex on every book reviewer in America, but I’d like to think it’s my talent that carried me to the top. That and the guy I paid to write my books for me.
Thank you, Jodi.
Hey, no problem. I read some of your stuff, by the way. Couldn’t really get into it. Too many ten-dollar words. And it’s like you won’t let yourself open up. Just let it out, man! Don’t be shy, let it out! Stop hiding behind the dictionary, speak your soul and readers will come.
THANK YOU, JODI.
OK. Don’t be rude. I don't see you winning any prizes, mister.
This book was so good - but as I have come to expect from Jodi Picoult.
I have ready reviews that classify her a pulp, or in the same class as a John Grisham novel...and I think that's really unfair. Jodi is always good...even when she's just okay (as in Sister's Keeper). And while a lot of her themes come from headlines (she's like the novel versions of Law and Order) they always have a different twist that takes a lot of sensitivity and creativity.
The Plain Truth was no exception. Although most of the book was from the perspective of Ellie, the lawyer, the most developed character here was Katie-the Amish defendant. I don't know if Jodi spent time with the Amish or not to research her book, but she did really seem to know her subjects very well. However, Katie is a contradiction in terms, in every single aspect of her life. She loves being Amish, but she also loves visiting her excommunicated brother at State College. She loves Samuel, the Amish suitor she's known her whole life, but she also loves Adam, the roommate/landlord of her brother. Katie both loves children, and denies her pregnancy. She has more compassion when Ellie becomes pregnant then she ever did for herself. Finally, Katie is a God-fearing, devout women, but she also firmly believes she regularly sees her dead sister.
As a reader, you know; the entire book that Katie did not kill her baby. And it's only in the last few paragraphs that you finally find out who did. If there was anything that bothered me about this book, it was the baby; the beautiful baby boy that was spoken of constantly, but never regarded as a person who had casually lost his life to secrecy. I had regret for that baby boy the entire story in a way that his mother never did.
This has been my favorite of the Picoult books to date…and makes me anxious to read more…
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Ein spannendes Setting und ich habe viel über die Welt der Amischen gelernt. Gleichzeitig auch über das amerikanische Rechtssystem, da es hier viel um die Vorbereitung und Durchführung des Gerichtsprozesses ging, was ich gerne lese. Jodi Picoult schafft es auch hier sehr gut verschiedene Seiten und Aspekte zu beleuchten. Den Ausgang der Geschichte habe ich geahnt, dann wieder verworfen und wurde durch das Eintreten, dann doch ganz zum Schluss nochmal überrascht. Es war durchweg interessant, spannend und teils auch sehr emotional.
Einige Punkte haben mir allerdings nicht ganz so gut gefallen, weshalb es gute 3 Sterne werden.
Katie hat mich zunehmend genervt. Mir ist bewusst, dass ihr Charakter entsprechend gestaltet wurde, aber es hat mich auf dem letzten Drittel mehr und mehr genervt manche Passagen, besonders vor Gericht, waren etwas langatmig Es gibt einen leichten paranormalen Touch, welcher nur dazu diente zwei Personen miteinander vertraut zu machen (sorry kryptisch, aber ich will nicht spoilern) welcher mir nicht gefallen hat
Nachdem mich mein erster Picoult „19 Stunden“ extrem begeistern konnte, war dieses Buch schwächer, aber ich werde trotzdem weitere Werke der Autorin lesen oder wie hier auch wieder als Hörbuch hören (Sprecherin war sehr gut: Ulrike Kapfer), da Jodie Picoult extrem spannende Themen aufwirft.
I very much enjoyed this fictional exploration of Amish culture and how the Amish 'Plain' people live in modern society whilst maintaining their traditional, religious values and practices.
When feisty defence attorney Ellie finds herself representing eighteen year old Katie against a murder one charge for the suspicious death of her newborn, she is challenged physically and psychologically more than she ever imagined. As conditions of her work, she is made to live among the Amish whilst keeping a watchful eye on Katie. In the build up to the trial, Ellie is anxious to do well by her client and the entire community from which she has grown fond of.
The book shines light on the often misunderstood Amish culture and I learnt a lot about Amish customs and how they live their life. The joy of reading Picoult books is that you truly are educated about a particular subject while enjoying a fictional story. I would like to learn more about the Plain people and their way of life.
As ever, the book concludes with a riveting court case and is brilliantly executed by the author. Having recently been disappointed by Picoult's debut novel, this was a welcome return to an author and genre I have now grown to love.
My daughter mentioned to me that she had read several of Jodi Picoult's books and said that she thought I should read one. I have to admit that I had seen the books before, but they just didn't appeal to me; however, on Haylee's recommendation I gave this one a try. Wow. I literally could not put it down. I read until 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning several days in a row, only stopping when I could not keep my eyes open any longer. Ms. Picoult is a brilliant writer who can draw her reader into the lives of her characters like few other authors. Plain Truth is the story of Katie Fisher, an 18-year-old unmarried Amish girl who is accused of smothering her newborn baby and of the big-city attorney, Ellie Hathaway, who defends her. As a stipulation of Katie's bail, Ellie must become her guardian and so moves into the Fishers' home, and their relationship, Ellie's growing understanding and appreciation of the Amish way of life and the mystery of who killed the infant in the Fishers' barn is masterfully woven together into a drop-everything-and-read-it-cover-to-cover-in-one-sitting story.
I had resisted reading a book by this author for a long time, without any valid reason, just because I saw her all over on the shelves at Target, or something. Boy am I sorry I did. I really liked listening to this book even though the voices of the narrators bothered me. The characters and the story were compelling even though they were mildly predictable, but not in a take your intelligence for granted kind of way. I now look forward to reading other books by Jodi Picoult and am glad that I joined Amber's book club, because that's the only reason I "read" this.
As my obsession with this author continues, since reading Mad Honey (my first), this book was recommended to me by several friends who considered this one as theirs favourite book by this author. I didn’t think twice and I immediately downloaded a copy from the public library. I was hooked from the beginning, which was heartbreaking, and I enjoyed the writing and the storytelling. I was completely immersed until about 40%. By 60% I was tired of the repetition. It was a never ending circle and I stopped caring for the young girl, Katie. I first totally felt sorry for her, but then I did not know what to believe anymore. Anyways… although I loved the concept and all the information about that community, I wasn’t surprised by the outcome. I did like learning all the psychological/psychiatrical perspectives, but I thought that this book was too long. It could have been cut by half. But I do have to say that the arguments during the trial were pretty good, hence my ratings.
e-book (Kobo): 530 pages (default), 144k words audiobook narrated by Christina Moore and Suzanne Toren: 16.8 hours (normal speed) Hardcover (Atria): 416 pages
I finished this book because I wanted to know how it ended, but getting to the end was pretty difficult. First off, the style got pretty confusing at times. Picoult used multiple narrators and switched between third-person and first-person so often that there was a few times I didn't know whose point-of-view I was reading.
The ending of the book was rather predictable. About a third of the way through the book I noticed that Picoult didn't put too much focus on Katie's mother, which immediately made me think, her mom did it. Also, the characters themselves weren't consistent. One minute Katie was sneaking out of the house and having sex, and the next minute she was a blushing innocent girl. One minute Katie hated Samuel, the next minute she was distraught that he was ignoring her. None of it made any sense. Ellie's character also really annoyed me. She was supposed to be a smart, high-powered attorney, yet the obvious always seemed to phase her. There was also a weird side plot with ghost that didn't seem to fit the story at all. I guess it was supposed to give Katie some closure with the dead infant and her sister, but it was really just bizarre.
Suffice to say, I won't be reading anymore of Picoult's books.