“Back of Book” Summary:
A shocking murder shatters the picturesque calm of Pennsylvania’s Amish country — and tests the heart and soul of the lawyer who steps in to defend the young woman at the center of the storm… Plain Truth 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. Moving seamlessly from psychological drama to courtroom suspense, Plain Truth is a fascinating portrait of Amish life — and a moving exploration of the bonds of love, friendship, and the heart’s most complex choices.
I previously reviewed Jodi Picoult’s The Pact which you can read here. I’ve recently read Picoult’s Plain Truth. The two plots are not comparable, but I can say that I enjoyed The Pact much better for the fact that as soon as I finished the book I blurted out “wow.” However, Plain Truth was a good book.
Picoult is a master of drawing the reader in. I also found the story interesting because it takes place where I used to live in central Pennsylvania. An unwed Amish teenager gives birth to a baby alone in a barn. The next day the baby is found dead and the mother is charged with its murder. The story leads the reader through Amish customs and lifestyle to show the affect that this type of pregnancy has on the community. The story was very good, however, the ending was predictable. Although the book doesn’t specifically say, it’s implied that there wasn’t actually a murder and that the baby died of a natural cause, but the person who covered up the death was predictable. I take this into account when comparing it with The Pact which had a very surprising ending.
Although the underlying ghost story running throughout the book is really intriguing to me, it felt out-of-place. Picoult tries to build multidimensional characters and stories, but in Plain Truth the integration of these layers is a bit rough. Nevertheless, if you like Picoult’s style and/or an Amish setting, I would recommend this.