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The Pact [Paperback]

Jodi Picoult
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (342 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.99
Price: 7.48 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Kindle Edition 1.99  
Library Binding 10.25  
Paperback 5.62  
Paperback, 18 July 2005 7.48  
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The Pact The Pact 4.3 out of 5 stars (342)
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Book Description

18 July 2005

For eighteen years the Hartes and the Golds have lived next door to each other, sharing everything from Chinese food to chicken pox to carpool duty. Parents and children alike are best friends - so it's no surprise that in high school Chris and Emily's friendship blossoms into something more. They've been soul mates since they were born.

When the midnight calls come in from the hospital, no one is prepared for the appalling truth: Emily is dead at seventeen from a gunshot wound to the head as part of an apparent suicide pact. The gun holds a single unspent bullet that Chris tells police he intended for himself, but a local detective has doubts. And the Hartes and Golds, in a single terrifying moment, must face every parent's worst fear: do we ever really know our children at all?

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Product details

  • Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks; New edition edition (18 July 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340838035
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340838037
  • Product Dimensions: 3.5 x 12.8 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (342 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 340,898 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


A love story, thriller and family drama in one, The Pact is the perfect novel to take on holiday this summer

The novelist displays an almost uncanny ability to enter the skins of her troubled young protagonists. (New York Times)

'You will find this novel impossible to put down - and if you take it on holiday with you, just don't plan on doing any sightseeing until you've finished it!' (Daily Mail)

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

Jodi Picoult's fifth novel, THE PACT, is so good that we can't put it down . . . It is suspenseful, intelligently written, topical. (Detroit Free Press)

"If you haven't yet read any of Picoult's novels get your hands on one. ... This story will make you wonder whether we ever know the people we love". (You Magazine, South Africa)

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

Picoult is a writer of high energy and conviction, who has, in [THE PACT], brought to life a cast of subtly drawn characters caught up in a tragedy as timeless and resonant as those of the Greeks or Shakespeare . . . She forges a finely honed, commanding, and cathartic drama. (Booklist)

Anyone who doubts that there is any more vivid, original fiction being written must read THE PACT. Jodi Picoult has written a truly fine book, a piece of total contemporary America. (Anne River Siddons)

Engrossing . . . Picoult has a remarkable ability to make us share her characters' feelings of confusion and horror . . . THE PACT is compelling reading (People)

'You will find this novel impossible to put down- and if you take it on holiday with you, just don't plan on doing any sightseeing until you've finished it!' (Daily Mail)

Book Description

A riveting, timely, and terrifying novel from an acclaimed writer who skillfully intertwines the intimate perceptions of Anne Tyler with the dramatic tension of John Grisham.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
60 of 60 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 'Pact' with Interest 5 April 2009
By imla
There seems to me to be a lot of hype about Jodi Picoult. I forever see her books sold in bookstores and languishing in the bestseller lists. Being a serious reader and a lover of books I decided it was only right I read a book by Jodi Picoult.

I bought The Pact, a story about Chris and Emily, two teenage lovers who agree on a suicide pact but Emily dies and Chris survives. Was there a suicide pact though or is Chris lying? Was it really a murder that occured?

The story is written by alternating tellings of "then" and "now". The "then" deals with Chris and Emily's birth and the happy lives their families led. The now deals with the incident after the gunshot was fired and Emily died.

It is a cleverly written story and intrigues the reader. What really happened? Why did it happen? Who is guily? Who is innocent? What will happen next? The characters are deep and very realistic. I found myself really caring for them, caught up in their dramas and desperate for the right outcome of the trial to happen.

This is an interesting book and I would recommend it. I now look forward to reading other novels by the author.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Emotional and thought provoking 26 Aug 2007
By Molly
This is the second Jodi Picoult novel I have read.
After reading 'My Sister's Keeper' a friend recommended 'The Pact and I was not disappointed.

I read this book over 3 days in a busy holiday.
It kept me gripped from start to finish and I have since recommended it to a couple of people and am awaiting their feedback.
I am sure it will be positive :)

This story is very emotional and it is impossible not to be moved by it.
The novel tells the story of a suicide pact between 2 teenage lovers.
However, the suicide goes wrong and Emily dies, yet Chris survives.
Following this he is put on trial for murder.
There are several versions of that fateful evening drifting around, but only Chris knows the truth.
What really happened? And what will happen to Chris?

The characterisation is very strong, but I didn't feel for Chris as much as I expected I would.
This may be something to do with him being a teenage boy and me being a teenage girl, as opposed to the author's skill.
I also felt let down by the ending.
I predicted the outcome very early on, however I was surprised by a twist which occured leading to the end.

I would recommend this to older teenagers and adults who are looking for an intriguing and emotional read.
However, I would not suggest under 15s/16s reading it as there are some sexual scenes that may be unsuitable for that age.

Thanks for reading this review.
I hope it helped you decide whether to read 'The Pact' or not.
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87 of 92 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost Perfect 14 May 2006
The story of the pact is about a girl (emily) and a boy (chris) that have been together their whole life; they are next door neighbours. The story begins with the two of them found lying on a carousel, chris unconcious and emily shot through the head with a gun holding two bullets. It is fairly easy to draw your own conclusions from this situation, yet is it really as it seems? It it, as chris so valiantly claims, a suicide pact? As the story progresses we follow Chris's battle with the courts and his concience, whilst recieving snatches of Emily's past alone and with Chris that lead her to be possibly scuicidal. In addition to this the story follows the effect on the two families left behind; their guilt, separation and love. I found this book brilliantly written, the story and mystery beautiful. The relationship between Emily and Chris was passionate and I could feel it radiating off the page. My only complaints are that the court case was rather long, however compeling, and the ending, though satisfactory, does seem a little unlikely. Despite this it felt that these were small problems in comparison to the rest of the book. The book was almost perfect, reflecting well upon the way in which Emily's life is explained.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book left an everlasting effect on my life 28 July 1998
By A Customer
This is the first and only review I have ever written and it is because this book so deeply impacted my life. I have never read such a well written, heart-warming, tragedy in my life and I do not think I will ever be the same. Jodi Picoult allows the reader to become one with her characters and she makes each scene come alive with her words. As I read each page I wondered what would happen next and I was unable to put the book down from the instance I picked it up. I have not stopped talking about this book since I read it and I have not been able to enjoy another book since I finshed it. I have become an annoyance to everyone I know because all I do is talk about the book and go on and on how everyone must read this book! I have loved books in the past, but I have never been so deeply moved by a book, like I was with this. I salute anyone who picks up this book because it will forever change the quality of books to be read in the future.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not Jodi's Best, By Far 23 Oct 2010
Format:Kindle Edition
I'm a big lover of Jodi Picoult's other books and for the most part liked this one, staying up into the small hours to finish it off. While I enjoyed the characters and story development throughout the first two thirds the last third felt like it was missing something and the ending didn't do anything to bring it back. I have to say that the ending left me thinking "Is that it?" and I felt quite cheated. It's not that I expect that all the questions of a book are answered, sometimes it's better to be left with a little mystery. That said, this just seemed to be lazy or rushed.
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