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Review: Plain Truth by Jodi Picoult

Plain Truth by Jodi Picoult
Publisher: Washington Square Press
Suggested retail price: $16.00

Jodi Picoult is an author with a growing following. So, I decided to dust off one of my favorites and share it with you, dear reader.

When defense attorney Ellie Hathaway decides to take a hiatus from her life, she retreats to her aunt Leda's house in Lancaster, PA. Leda is an excommunicated Amish women who still lives close to the community where she was raised. When Leda gets a phone call shortly after Ellie arrives and rushes off to the hospital, Ellie is intrigued. So it seems, Leda's niece, a young Amish girl named Katie, has given birth to a baby out of wedlock and the baby has been discovered dead and hidden in the barn. Katie has been accused of murdering the child, though vehemently denies ever being pregnant in the first place. Leda pleads with Ellie to take the case and Ellie reluctantly agrees. To secure bail for Katie, the judge makes Ellie swear to move in with her family and not let Katie go anywhere without her. So, suddenly Ellie is back in the courtroom and living on an Amish farm instead of enjoying her planned vacation. Initially, she isn't too happy about this, but as she gets to know Katie, she realizes something just isn't right here. First of all, Katie is definitely holding something back. But is it really possible that an Amish girl could kill her own child? I really enjoyed this novel. Getting an insider's look into the Amish way of life was truly fascinating.

Jodi Picoult's "Plain Truth" is a gem of a story. I had a great sense of enjoyment as I read it. Her characters seem real and believable and the plot is well crafted. Katie and Ellie, as well as all the other characters, were likable, and acted like we might all act under the circumstances. The relationship between Katie and Samuel was sweet and touching. Underneath it all runs the thread of a tragedy that has affected the entire Fisher family. There could not have been a better ending...grounded in reality instead of implausible heroics. I enjoyed the setting amid the Amish culture. Jodi Picoult researched her topic thoroughly and has given her readers a detailed view of their world.

Mary Daugherty