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VINE VOICEon 8 April 2006
This is the fourth novel by Jodi Picoult which I have read, and I've enjoyed all of them. "Plain Truth" I would place right up there with "My Sister's Keeper" which is praise indeed from me.
All of the familiar Picoult ingredients are here, a lawyer with a less than perfect personal life, a sensational court case, and a family of good and decent people who are seemingly being torn apart by the secrets which they have had to hide from each other.
Having said that, I would hate you to think that this is just formula writing, when it is so much more. For Katie Fisher, the girl accused in the court case, is a member of an Amish community. I'm guessing that for the majority of readers, as it was for me, your only idea of the Amish is what you'll have seen in the Harrison Ford movie "Witness". Ellie, the brilliant but flawed defence lawyer, has to live with Katie and her family in the weeks leading up to the trial, and to come to terms with living in this community. For me this gives the novel great texture, and you are steadily drawn into this world, with all of its attractions, and all of its drawbacks too.
If you've read any of Jodi Picoult's novels before, you'll know that she is a master of manipulating your emotions and sympathies, and this novel is no different in that respect. You are simultaneously both invited to feel sympathy for Katie, and at the same time challenged to confront serious moral issues, although I won't tell you what these are in advance for fear of spoiling the plot for you.
Jodi Picoult is a great novelist. Her prose is clear - at times quite stark, at times almost poetical, but never less than riveting. She is a great storyteller. But be warned. Once you start reading this, empty your schedule for a couple of days, because you won't want to put it down.
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on 27 February 2005
This is the first Jodi Picoult book I have read and I was hooked from the first page. I have spent many sleepless nights not wanting to put the book down as it keeps you guessing almost to the last page. Jodi Picoult knows her stuff, from the Amish life, to courtroom drama, this book is a must. It is so beautifully written I did not want the book to end. I haven't enjoyed a book so much in a long time. It grips you from beginning to end. Read it I guarantee you won't be disappointed.
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on 3 September 2000
Having been told that this was really a woman's book I approached reading it with some diffidence. How wrong I was! This is the first Jodi Picoult book I have read. If this is anything to go by she is a brilliant story teller. She tells the story of events both before and after the death of a new born baby in an Amish community in a way that gives the reader a real understanding of the Amish. At the same time the plot drives forward with Picoult holding the reader as skillfully as any acknowledged thriller writer. This is a quality novel, and at the same time a thriller.
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on 18 October 2007
Having read many of Picoult's book I thought this was another page turner, it immediately grabs you and encourages you to continue with the plots. The insight into the Amish life is well researched and keeps the story going. I know feel with Picoult's books, however, you can see the 'twists' coming and sometimes they are a bit too convenient. All this being said a good realaxing read.
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on 23 June 2005
This is the second novel by Jodi Piccoult that I have read, the first being My Sister's Keeper. Just like that novel, I adored this one. Plain Truth is intriguing and though-provoking. If there is anything I would change, it would be that the surprise ending is a little rushed - I would have preferred to have a little time to be shocked and stunned before the book was over. Nevertheless, that didn't stop it from being an amazing read.
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on 17 January 2005
I had never heard of this writer before but decided to give it ago and it was well worth it. The story was told beautifully taking you along at a good pace, you couldn't help but stay up late just to read the next chapter. The story of an Amish girl giving birth and the subsequent death of that child is moving but at the same time in the back of your mind you're just wondering, did she do it or not? The descriptions of the Amish community opens that world to you, at times you can't help but compare it to 'Witness' with Harrison Ford - that was a damn good film but this book is way better.
An excellent read
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on 13 September 2005
This book keeps you in suspense throughout and gives you a clear knowledgeable understanding of what life is like for other cultures. It leaves you wanting to read on and on, and leaves you feeling sorry and surprised for the characters. Although at times it can be difficult to understand with the legal interpretations, but it is very clever. An excellent book and i cant wait to read more by Jodi.
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on 14 August 2005
I am now a definite Fan of Jodi Picoults book. This book is full of her trademark twists and turns in the story and an enthralling courtroom sequence. A different setting in the Amish community keeps the book from being to similar to her others. The author, has a talent for building up suspense and mystery. The book keeps you guessing at what happened throughout, and I dreaded reading to the end incase it was not the ending I hoped.
The relationships between all the different characters were really beleivable, and they keep you turning the pages. The background plot with the lawyers realtionship is written much better in this book than in My sister's keeper and is an essential detail in the boook.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, and reccomend everyone should read it!
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on 25 January 2007
I approached this novel like a blank canvas, as it's the first of Picoult's novels that I've read. I was totally captivated from the start by the author's obvious depth of understanding and involvement with the "Plain" people she writes about, The Amish of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.

Having visited an Amish town only once (as a tourist), I'm no expert on Amish culture and have been mystified by it in the past, but I do now feel as though Picoult has given me some insights into their beliefs and way of life.

The discovery of a dead newborn baby on an Amish farm shocks the community, and as it turns into a murder investigation draws in renowned lawyer, Ellie, caught up in the drama as she visits her aunt nearby. Ellie soon finds herself agreeing to represent the young girl accused, Katie.

Picoult soon draws the reader into an empathy with both Ellie and Katie, and the twisting plot which slowly and cleverly unravels held my attention right the way through the novel. I found my attention slipped only when the case came to trial and there was a lot of repetition of detail already covered. However, I was really just impatient to reach the end and the outcome of the trial! The twist at the end of the book is clever and thought provoking, but in a way it's a shame it wasn't left open....

A great read. Couldn't put it down. Highly recommended!
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on 7 August 2006
THis is my third JP. Having read comments from other reviewers that they can become formulaic after you've read 2 or 3 I now think that is unfair. OK, there's a lawyer in each story, but apart from that.. the stories are totally, totally different. In Plain Truth, the reader is given the opportunity to find out about The Amish World at the same time as reading a brilliantly well-written and sensitive story.

Am I the only reader who didn't enjoy My Sister's Keeper the most?! I prefered Plain Truth and Salem Falls both.
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