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Salem Falls

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  74,444 ratings  ·  3,554 reviews
Jack buries his past, content to become the mysterious stranger who has appeared out of the blue. Addie, desperate for answers, must look into her heart -- and into Jack's lies and shadowy secrets -- for evidence that will condemn or redeem the man she has come to love.

When Jack St. Bride arrives by chance in the sleepy New England town of Salem Falls, he decides to reinve
Paperback, First Washington Square Press Trade Paperback Edition, 434 pages
Published August 1st 2002 by Washington Square Press (first published April 3rd 2001)
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Average rating 3.82  · 
Rating details
 ·  74,444 ratings  ·  3,554 reviews

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Mar 07, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
I'm not a likely candidate to read a Jodi Picoult book. I have to admit that I've always been a bit of a snob when it comes to the books that my Mom read.

She was a big fan of mysteries, but nothing classic (no Christie or Doyle), very little new or challenging (no Steinhauer or Rankin), and practically nothing genuinely pulpy (no Leonard or Chandler). She always preferred the uber-popular stuff and was a massive fan of James Patterson (and his peers), having to go out and buy the books from his
Nov 18, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is one of those long reads where you really get to know the characters. It is set in Salem Falls, the quintessential American small town, a place where nothing much happens and where people move to because of its low crime rate. It is a safe place to bring up a family.

However, the residents are in for a shock with the arrival of Jack St Bride, a man with a past. He is desperate to hide the fact that he has just been released from prison after having served eight months for a sexual assault
This is one of Jodi Picoult's best novels and one of my favourites. Perception is reality in this chilling tale of how one man can be condemned not once, but twice. It is a compelling and thought-provoking read. The author deals with the controversial subject of the novel with perfection, providing plenty of unexpected twists and turns along the way. The characters are appealing, believable and well-developed. I fell in love with the characters of Addie and Jack. Salem Falls is an incredibly wel ...more
Dec 13, 2008 rated it did not like it
I wasted most of this weekend reading Salem Falls, the story of Jack, a high school history teacher who tries to start his life again after being wrongly accused of sexual assault, only to have the whole thing happen again in the new town. It was an easy read, an engrossing story, but there were parts of the story that drove me crazy. For one thing-- the dates were constantly off. For example, Jack's love interest Addie had a daughter who died some time in the past. At one point, they said she'd ...more
Dec 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow I was totally enthralled around page 180. I was hooked solid at that point. This book is engrossing. I am trying to get through a big box of books from my grandmother which included Jodi Picoult, Danielle Steel, and Nora Robert's books and I am so addicted this these authors right now. I usually read mostly sci-fi/fantasies but am glad I'm reading these. It has been a good change for a bit.

Overall, a profound story of injustice, lies, love, and small town life. The cast of characters are a
Oct 28, 2009 rated it did not like it
Shelves: terrible, reviewed
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 20, 2010 rated it did not like it
Shelves: one-star-wonders
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 24, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Another good book of Picoult's. This time, it was about an innocent teacher who was accused of sexual misconducts with a female student and had gotten out of prison for serving time on that. He moved into a new town, and unfortunately soon, everyone knew of his past and the accusations started up again. He was also innocent this time around. He had drunkenly stumbled across a group of girls who were out in the woods celebrating a Wiccan holiday, and their lies landed him in jail. With thanks to ...more
Feb 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
This book presents a story filled with feeling and truth; telling a complicated tale filled with mistakes and misunderstandings and interwoven with a storyline about Wickens? Teenage witches? Sure......
Initially, I was a little sceptical at the blending of these two things - a story about a wrongfully accused high school teacher who, having left prison and gone to a small town, again gets charged with rape and a group of teenage girls who practice magik. But, Picoult was able to work these two c
Jun 24, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
A most frustrating book. It is written on a formula perfect for Lifetime TV for women. It is clearly intended to be an issue oriented novel on the subject of the abuse of Megan's law and false accusations. The subject is not an easy one to deal with.

I didn't like the graphic sex or the bad language. I didn't like the choppy style of jumping from one point of view to another without a transition. It was difficult to follow. Although the author apparently wanted a sensational surprise at the endi
Jun 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
Salem Falls is not exactly what I initially thought the book would be about from reading the synopsis on the back cover; however, it was a very interesting and mostly enjoyable read. Jack St. Bride was a history teacher at a private school who was falsely accused of statutory rape. Jack accepted a plea bargain when his lawyer advised him of all the circumstantial evidence against him and spent eight months in prison for a crime he did not commit. Upon his release, Jack knows that he cannot retur ...more
Emily Bradley-Stocks
Prior warning I'm writing this review at 4am having just finished this and I'm both a tad confused as to how the author of Sing You Home could have written this and pretty peed off.
Anyone else a little tired of books about rape ending up with the poor, handsome white boy being innocent? Especially when it was clear Picoult was a little bit in love with him, describing his features and his wonderful personality and his pointless subplot about enjoying Jeopardy. To be accused twice of sexual assa
Nora aka Diva
May 01, 2011 rated it did not like it
I have two words to discribe this novel, contrived and convoluted. From the very beginning this novel is ludicrous. The characters are so unbelievable you just don't care about their individual stories or the "big" picture they are all involved in either. Seriously? A teacher wrongly convicted of a sex crime ends up in a town called Salem Falls with teenaged witches plotting against him just because they can? So of course he is Again faced with false charges of rape being pressed against him, bl ...more
Sarah Cavar
Oct 18, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2018
Way to paint a teenage sexual abuse survivor as an evil, pathologically-lying temptress, and a guy with shit boundaries as an oh-so-sad victim of scary girl’s’ false accusations. Absolute shit.
Mar 24, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Salem Falls is easily one of my favorite Jodi Picoult book - one part romance, one part courtroom thriller, two parts social commentary, to quote The Dallas Morning News. This time she tackles Megan’s Law - law enforcement is required to make information available to the public regarding registered sex offenders - and how people are presumed guilty until proven innocent, instead of the other way around.

“When I was lying, they hung on every word. And when I told the truth, no one listened.” {pg.
Jan 07, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
I enjoyed this book and finished it in one day of voracious reading, but I can't bear to give it more than two stars. I enjoy Jodi Picoult books, yes, but this one is not her finest. It seemed like she was trying really hard to write another "Jodi Picoult book," but not paying attention to the way the story unrolled or the characters or their motivations. Part of the reason this book irritated me, I think, was that I had just finished reading Alice Sebold's Lucky , which was a heartrendingly re ...more
May 03, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: contemporary
Among the contemporary writers, I also read recently 'Salem falls' by Jodi Picoult. What I liked about her is: she does not expose only the evils of the society; she also shows our strengths right next to our frailties.

To give you a few examples of the positives in her book:

- In the opening scene, I'm touched by the compassion of the taxi driver, who picks up Jack for free, when he is walking down the highway, barely clothed on a very cold day, with no money

- then you see the reciprocative acts
Jan 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2009-reads

At first glance Salem Falls is intimidating. The print is small, the book is thick, and once you've dipped a toe into the pages you soon realize that the topic is delicate on top of everything else. It starts off as a slowly progressing story about a man, Jack, who has a past he clearly wishes to leave behind him. He finds himself in the presence of a woman, Addie, with an equally broken past who wishes just as much as Jack does to ignore it. But as with any story and its hidden secrets they are
Sep 06, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Nancy
Recommended to Tina by: Shanna
It is so hard for me not to completely immerse myself in Jodi Picoult's books and ignore the passing of time. I read this in one day--couldn't put it down. I love the way she develops characters to the point that I feel their pain. ...more
Mar 07, 2010 rated it really liked it
This is one of my favourite Picoult books, I am not a Picoult fan but this is a good read.
Miriam Smith (A Mother’s Musings)
I read this some time ago but remember thoroughly enjoying this, in fact it is probably my favourite by the author!
Nov 28, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't know what I would really rate this book. I felt that it was well-written (I would expect nothing less from Jodi Picoult) and well-planned, but the subject matter was something I struggled with. I think that's why it took me a lot longer to read this one than some of Picoult's others.
I was mostly bothered by the fact that Picoult perpetuated the idea of blaming the victim. The whole trial was basically a way for the defense to discredit Gillian. Regardless of whether or not she was tellin
Quality of writing: 3/5
Pace: 3/5
Plot development: 4/5
Characters: 4/5
Enjoyability: 4/5
Time to complete: around 14 hours

Score: 3.6 Stars out of 5


Took a while to get invested but around page 160 I was hooked and craving to know how it was going to turn out. I don’t normally read books like this but I enjoyed it and would read another by the author.

The ending left me uneasy and conflicted but I still enjoyed it.

I said after my last Jodi Picoult read - Small Great Things - that I was getting a bit sick of the ‘Picoult Formula’ and would have taken a loong break from her books if I didn’t already have Salem Falls waiting to be read.

I was right that is wasn’t just that I had read several books by her in the last year as to why I didn’t like SGT - having read this much earlier book for comparison, she definitely has become complacent in her writing and lays it on waaaay too thick. Vague symbolism city, th

Well done Jodi! You've earned my trust back!

Now I know I just wrote a book review for Harvesting the Heart like an hour ago?!? But like I've mentioned in some reviews/my general status update: I HAVE A TON OF REVIEWS TO WRITE TODAY BECAUSE I'M A READING MANIAC/ROBOT AND READ A TON OF BOOKS THIS WEEK!

Salem Falls was sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo good. Again, I have no idea who bought this book for me but THANKS ANYWAYS! Whoever you are, you are the real MVP (this weekend)!

I loved everything a
Jun 27, 2008 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: absolutely no one.
This is one of the worst books that I've read...only slightly better than the very few that I've not been able to finish.

Pathetic. It's going to make a perfect Lifetime movie, with scenes from "The Craft".

Jun 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
This book had me captivated. A handsome young soccer coach accused of raping one of his star players; did he or did he not commit the crime? The suspense builds steadily chapter after chapter, event after event, revelation after revelation. Jodi Picoult explores topics that are of concern in most countries and cultures. Accusations of sexual abuse by a teacher or coach cause people to form opinions for or against the accused. In this case a trial takes up the third part of the book. If you enjoy ...more
Tanja Berg
Jul 15, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: drama
I was waiting for my car to be ready from the service, sat down in a used-books store for the second time in one hour, picked this book out of the shelves rather than the one in my handbag and started reading. It hooked me immediately, so I bought it.

Once upon a time (June 2008) Jodi Picoult's "nineteen minutes" was the first book I had read for fun in several months. I read it during a weekend I could not get out of bed from exhaustion and it got me back on my feet. So Jodi Picoult has a specia
lacy white
3.5 stars!

tw: slut shaming, attempted rape, fat shaming, use of word r*tard, sexual assault, self harm, use of word *ndian, rape

This book made me so mad. Although, a lot of Picoult's books make me mad. I consider this a good thing. I was mad at what Jack was put through because he most certainly did NOT deserve it at all. I was mad at the town of Salem Falls for being horrible and judgey because, sadly, small towns seem to be that way with a newcomer, especially a newcome with a past. I was j
Apr 30, 2008 rated it really liked it
Picoult's books always make you think, and show you how there are many sides to just one issue. On the surface, Salem Falls is the story of a modern-day witchhunt in the form of a rape trial, but it's really the backstories of the characters that make the book what it is. Her style of writing is unpretentious but definitely carries a strong message. From the beginning, it is fairly obvious how the rape trial will end. However, it is the entire process of the trial and the actions of each charact ...more
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
Unresolved Issues? 12 173 Nov 23, 2020 01:45PM  
Virgin Rape & Non-virgin Rape 2 22 Apr 17, 2018 08:13PM  
Young Jack? 2 23 Apr 15, 2018 05:29AM  
JPathon: Part 2 1 4 Mar 30, 2017 05:43PM  
JPathon: Part 1 1 3 Mar 30, 2017 05:42PM  

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Jodi Picoult is the author of twenty-six novels, including the #1 New York Times bestsellers Small Great Things, A Spark of Light, Leaving Time, The Storyteller, Lone Wolf, Between the Lines, Sing You Home, 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.

Her new novel, THE BOOK OF TWO WAYS, is

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