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Salem Falls [Paperback]

Jodi Picoult
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (134 customer reviews)

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Book Description

7 Nov 2005

Jack St. Bride was once a beloved teacher and soccer coach at a girls' private school - until a student's crush sparked a powder keg of accusation and robbed him of his career and reputation. Now, after a devastatingly public ordeal that left him with an eight-month jail sentence and no job, Jack resolves to pick up the pieces of his life.

He takes a job washing dishes at Addie Peabody's diner and slowly starts to form a relationship with her in the quiet New England village of Salem Falls. But just when Jack thinks he has outrun his past, a quartet of teenage girls with a secret turn his world upside down once again, triggering a modern-day witch hunt in a town haunted by its own history...

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Product details

  • Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks; New Ed edition (7 Nov 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340835532
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340835531
  • Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 12.4 x 3.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (134 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 413,012 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jodi Picoult received an A.B. in creative writing from Princeton University and a master's degree in education from Harvard. She is the author of seventeen novels including MY SISTER'S KEEPER(now a major film starring Cameron Diaz and Abigail Breslin), NINETEEN MINUTES, CHANGE OF HEART and HANDLE WITH CARE. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband and three children. Learn more at

Product Description


Gripping -- you'll be riveted by this multilayered tale of small-town intrigue. (Glamour)

Picoult's characters are so compelling that the reader hopes this won't be the last time we meet (USA Today)

Gripping . . . you'll be riveted by this multilayered tale of small-town intrigue. (Glamour)

This is the book you will want to read this summer -- Salem Falls is one of those books you can't put down. On every page there is a twist, a revelation, a surprise, a pay-off, placing it firmly in the category of Page-Turner -- It has romance, heartbreak, mystery, spookiness, and even a good dose of moral dilemmas - everything a good novel needs. (Ann Hood, Providence Journal)

Genuinely suspenseful - remarkably original. (Publishers Weekly)

It is impossible not to be held spellbound by the way she forces us to think, hard, about right and wrong (Washington Post)

Genuinely suspenseful . . . remarkably original (Publishers' Weekly)

Secrets, slowly revealed, are what makes this novel compelling -- Right when the reader feels s/he has figured out all the mysteries and tied up the last loose string, Picoult leaves one final surprise for the last paragraph. (BookPage)

'A chilling tale of covens and corruption in a small town . . . The Craft meets Wild Things.' (Cosmopolitan)

'This is a riveting read full of intrigue, lies and deceit and you will be kept on the edge of your seat until the final sentence' (Shetland Times)

'A gripping novel that is part romance, part thriller and part social commentary that keeps us turning the pages until the end' (American)

Book Description

A riveting drama of ordinary people under pressure from the Richard & Judy Book Club bestselling author Jodi Picoult.

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First Sentence
Several miles into his journey, Jack St. Bride decided to give up his former life. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
43 of 44 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another Great Courtroom Drama... 16 Mar 2007
Jack St Bride ends up in Salem Falls following eight months spent in prison for a rape (against a minor) that he didn't commit. He tries to keep his head down and keep out of trouble, but finds himself falling for Addie Peabody, the owner of the local diner. He also begins to get unwanted attention from a group of young girls, who all think of themselves as Wiccan.

As soon as news is out that Jack was accused of sexual assault and rape, the town's folk go out of their way to make him unwelcome. Then he gets accused of rape by the daughter of one of most influential men in town...the inevitable courtroom drama follows...

This was a really enjoyable book. The characters were well drawn, even if they weren't particularly likeable! The drama moves on at a good pace and there's a bit of a twist at the end.
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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy This Book 20 Sep 2005
Perception is reality in this chilling tale of how one man can be condemmed not once, but twice. Jacks tale of resettling himself after his life is turned upside down is told in a such a way that you feel like a spring is being tightened with every word. You are just waiting for things to go the wrong way, despite the fact that he is trying so hard to do the right thing and keep his nose clean. You can't help but fall for his character. Addie is the woman he loves, her strength and determination to make the right decision is overwhelming and keeps you turning the pages. The coven of silly girls playing at being wicca witches will infuriate you, remember the ribbon!! I will say no more...
This is a compelling read, buy it and be transported to a world where people see only what they believe, rather than believing what they see and know to be true.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of her best 19 Jan 2007
This definately one of Picoults better books, as usual she deals with a gritty subjebt superbly; providing twists and turns along the way. The characters are both interesting and believable, as well as having interesting histories. It seems this book stands so well because it has the familiar past/present form but the grit does not totally vanish at the end. By making one aspect of the storyline end realistically, the rest is a thousand times more believable than some of her other books. So if you've been dettered by the samey format, this one could well be a welcome change. Five stars for originality and a fantastic story
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Who says the Crucible can't be updated!! 20 April 2006
In drama class last year, my teacher offered the opinion that Arthur Miller's "The Crucible" couldn't be updated. Boy, was she wrong. "Salem Falls" tells the story of Jack St. Bride, a formerly brilliant teacher who has just endured a spell in prison after being falsely accused of raping one of his students.

Moving to the small town of Salem Falls, he takes a job at the local diner owned by Addie Peabody, and slowly starts to build a relationship with her.

However, when he rebuffs the advances of the daughter of the richest man in town, he finds himself on the end of a modern day witch hunt as the girl attempts to hide a dark secret...

The fluid narration sweeps you along, offering insight into each brilliantly drawn character as the gripping plot twists and turns. This stew of love, loyalty, lust, hysteria, honesty and corruption will grip you from first page to last. Ms Picoult, I salute you!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Complete whirl! 4 Aug 2006
Having become a complete Picoult addict with My Sisters Keeper being the culprit, this was the second book I got hooked into. Changing of character chapters and timescales does take a little to get used to but this is another Picoult masterpiece. The twist at the end always takes my breath away and I wish it would be another couple of chapters long, but this is the tempter to get another book.

Great storyline, great puzzler and fantastic ending... Thank you Jodi x
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read 17 July 2006
I loved this book (my first Picoult) and like other reviewers couldn't put it down. I even brought it into work to finish in my lunch break as I desperately wanted to know if the ending was as I predicted. It appealed to the problem-solving part of me, and provided a great courtroom drama (reminded me in parts of some of John Grisham's books) in the case of the State vs Jack St Bride. The characters are all believable and I loved the exploration of relationships between fathers and daughters. The final twist was not as I had predicted, but good and worth waiting for.

Onto the next Picoult novel I think...
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very readable, a modern twist on a classic tale 18 Feb 2006
Salem Falls is the story of a modern day witch hunt in the setting of the Salem Witch Trials of 'The Crucible' fame. Whilst anyone familar with Miller's play will quickly recognise the mirroring of the story and therefore be able to second guess the general story line, Picoult's writing is all in the detail, so this takes nothing away from the overall enjoyment of the book. The characters are each well developed through the course of the novel and you really feel that you have grown to know them leading to quite an emotional roller coaster as the story progresses. The court scenes are exciting and engagingly written, as in 'The Pact' and add to the sincerity of this novel; which like The Crucible is most terrifying because it really could happen. This is compelling reading so make sure you've got enough free time on your hands to keep turning the pages!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Is a great book. I enjoyed it.
Published 13 days ago by birgit bateson
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A gift for the wife that left her happy and kept her off my case for a bit.
Published 1 month ago by Chris Longden
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
Another great book by Jodi Picoult.
I was hooked right to the last page of the novel. A great read as usual.
Published 3 months ago by denise mountain
3.0 out of 5 stars Mixed feelings
Half way through this book, I was frustrated with the padded plot, weak characters and shallow inevitably storyline. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Mrs. Amanda J. Rolleston
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic
I felt it was an interesting plot line and when I first read the blurb I wasn't sure if I would of had enjoyed it or not, but once I got past the first chapter I was really into... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping
I've just discovered Jodi Picoult and so far have loved each book I've read. This was no exception. It grips you from the beginning and is very difficult to put down. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Angela
4.0 out of 5 stars different
I always enjoy Jodi Picoult and despite a slow start I was not disappointed this time. the subject is rape which is a difficult one but a couple of twists kept me guessing to the... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Christine Davies
5.0 out of 5 stars Salem Falls
I bought Salem Falls by Jodi Picoult as I like the books by this author and have added it to my collection.
Published 5 months ago by mrs c l turner
5.0 out of 5 stars good
very pleased with this book is a great read and would recommend to any who likes to read. pleased with delivery and packaging.
Published 5 months ago by a r
3.0 out of 5 stars Fine for Picoult fans
Salem Falls kept me entertained over the drab post-Christmas period ! It is as I would expect from Jodi Picoult. Read more
Published 6 months ago by katherine Stenhouse
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