Plain Truth by Jodi Picoult

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Perhaps the story's quietude is appropriate, given its magnificently painted backdrop and distinctive characters, but one can't help wishing that the spark igniting the book's opening pages had built into a full-fledged blaze.
-Publishers Weekly

Synopsis

Jodi Picoult has touched readers deeply with her acclaimed novels, such as Keeping Faith and The Pact. Gifted with "a remarkable ability to make us share her characters' feelings" (People), Picoult now explores the complex choices of the heart for a young Amish woman -- the compelling journey of discovery for an urban lawyer who befriends and protects her.
The small town of Paradise, Pennsylvania, is a jewel in Lancaster County -- known for its picture-postcard landscapes and bucolic lifestyle. But that peace is shattered by the discovery of a dead infant in the barn of an Amish farmer. A police investigation quickly leads to two startling disclosures: the newborn's mother is an unmarried Amish woman, eighteen-year-old Katie Fisher. And the infant did not die of natural causes. Although Katie denies the medical proof that she gave birth to the child, circumstantial evidence leads to her arrest for the murder of her baby.
One hundred miles away, Philadelphia defense attorney Ellie Hathaway has achieved an enviable, high-profile career. But her latest court "victory" has set the sands shifting beneath her. Single at thirty-nine and unsatisfied with her relationship, Ellie doesn't look back when she turns down her chance to make partner and takes off for an open-ended stay at her great-aunt's home in Paradise.
Fate brings her to Katie Fisher. Suddenly, Ellie sees the chance to defend a client who truly needs her, not just one who can afford her. But taking on this case challenges Ellie in more ways than one. She finds herself not only in a clash of wills with a client who does not want to be defended but also in a clash of cultures with a people whose channels of justice are markedly different from her own.
Immersing herself in Katie Fisher's life -- and in a world founded on faith, humility, duty, and honesty -- Ellie begins to understand the pressures and sacrifices of those who to live "plain." As she peels away the layers of fact and fantasy, Ellie calls on an old friend for guidance. Now, just as this man from Ellie's past reenters her life, she must uncover the truth about a complex case, a tragic loss, the bonds of love -- and her own deepest fears and desires.
Moving seamlessly from psychological drama to courtroom suspense, Plain Truth is a triumph of contemporary storytelling. Jodi Picoult presents a fascinating portrait of Amish life rarely witnessed by those outside the faith -- and discovers a place where circumstances are not always what they seem, where love meets falsehood, and where relationships grow strong enough to span two worlds.
 

About Jodi Picoult

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Jodi Picoult is the author of eighteen novels, including the #1 New York Times bestsellers House Rules, Handle With Care, Change of Heart, Nineteen Minutes, and My Sister’s Keeper. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband and three children. Visit her at JodiPicoult.com.Samantha van Leer is a junior in high school. She conceived the idea for this book and pitched it to her mom, who was in the middle of a book tour. In her spare time, Samantha can be found playing softball, doing contemporary dance, acting and singing in musicals, and cuddling on the ground with her two dogs, Dudley and Oliver—for whom the prince in this fairy tale was named.
 
Published May 1, 2000 by Atria Books. 432 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Religion & Spirituality, Education & Reference. Fiction
Bestseller Status:
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Peak Rank on Aug 17 2014
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Weeks as Bestseller
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Critic reviews for Plain Truth
All: 7 | Positive: 6 | Negative: 1

Publishers Weekly

Above average
on May 01 2000

Perhaps the story's quietude is appropriate, given its magnificently painted backdrop and distinctive characters, but one can't help wishing that the spark igniting the book's opening pages had built into a full-fledged blaze.

Read Full Review of Plain Truth | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

Entertainment Weekly

Good
Reviewed by Vanessa V. Friedman on May 19 2000

...how do you deal with intense faith when you don't have any faith of your own? Against all expectations Picoult avoids cliche and keeps the story both absorbing and affecting.

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All About Romance

Good
Reviewed by Laurie Likes Books on Jan 18 2013

...this is a worthwhile read, and yet, like the Amish lifestyle, this book too is much more than the sum of its parts. Much like the quilts sewn throughout the story, Plain Truth provides simple beauty.

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The Bookbag

Good
Reviewed by Jo Heffer on Nov 25 2012

...I just didn't want to put it down! It's the sort of book which you wonder what you can follow it with that won't be a disappointment.

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Always With A Book

Good
Reviewed by Kristin on Apr 14 2011

All her books stay with you long after you finish the last page or hear the last line and this one is no exception.

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Confessions of a Bibliophile

Good
on Aug 10 2014

This was the first Jodi Picoult book I’ve read, and I really enjoyed it! I like reading and learning about different ways of living. This is the second book featuring the Amish I’ve read in a month, and I feel like I understand the culture a little better than I did.

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Simply Books

Good
Reviewed by Simply_Megan on Oct 07 2010

I could not put Plain Truth down because it was so honest and true and was filled with all these great characters, relationships, details, and themes. The ending was very satisfying and I would recommend this book to all ages, to fans of all genres.

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84%

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