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Salem Falls

3.8  ·  Rating details ·  62,904 Ratings  ·  3,037 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 2001)
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Yvonne Pretty sure...
Something about the way they were communicating throughout the book and in how their relationship was described was off.
Pretty sure...
Something about the way they were communicating throughout the book and in how their relationship was described was off.
Halfway through the book I figured out that the semen came from the father. Little disappointing...(less)
Mbali Zimu This book had me turning the pages each second. I love the way Jodi Picoult told the story from multiply perspective as the mystery of Jack was…moreThis book had me turning the pages each second. I love the way Jodi Picoult told the story from multiply perspective as the mystery of Jack was unfolding. Salem Falls absolutely took my breath away.(less)

Community 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
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
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
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
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
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
Oct 28, 2009 rated it did not like it
Shelves: reviewed, terrible
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
Mar 24, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2009-reads, fiction
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.
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

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.
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.
Miriam Smith
May 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I read this some time ago but remember thoroughly enjoying this, in fact it is probably my favourite by the author!
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
Mari Biella
Jul 27, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of fast-paced drama
I must admit, before picking this book up I'd never read Jodi Picoult before. I knew she was wildly popular, prolific and highly-praised for her work, and people had been recommending her to me for years, so I thought I'd finally take the plunge.

Was it worth it?

Well, yes and no. Firstly, there's no doubt about it: Salem Falls is a fast-paced page-turner with more twists and turns than a rollercoaster ride. Nor is Picoult shy of dealing with those contentious topics - rape, incest, the shortcomi
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
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
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
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
Jul 11, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Dramatic Stories
Reviewed for THC Reviews
Salem Falls was my first read by Jodi Picoult, and I have to say, it did not disappoint. It was an intriguing, multi-layered, dramatic story steeped in small-town secrets and lies. Salem Falls was inspired by Arthur Miller's The Crucible, a story which I haven't read, but about which I'm now curious. In her interview at the end of the book, Ms. Picoult talks about how she wanted to update The Crucible, but also wanted to tell a story about how lies often spread faster tha
Salem Falls is definitely my favourite book by Picoult thus far. She had – again – successfully incorporated a tinge of romance, a tinge of courtroom drama and a tinge of mystery into her writing, which in the end, made up a beautifully written story. As the other books by Jodi Picoult, this is another issue-oriented novel in which she tried to bring forward topics such as Megan’s Law abuse (A law that requires law enforcement to make information regarding registered sex offender available to pu ...more
Ryan Mac
Nov 28, 2008 rated it really liked it
I have read nearly all of Jodi Picoult's books now (I couldn't get through Second Glance) and this was actually one of her better ones, even though it was extremely ridiculous at times. It is a somewhat convoluted story but basically comes down to this: Jack St. Bride, a teacher and soccer coach, is accused of sexual assault by a student, takes a plea and spends time in jail. Upon getting out of jail, he wants to start a new life and lands in Salem Falls at a diner with Addie, a lady who hires J ...more
Sep 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If I could give this book 10 stars, I would. This is the second book I've read by Picoult, and she is fast becoming one of my favorite authors. She is immensely talented, knows how to grab the reader from the first page and not let go until way past the last. She weaves her tales with such delicacy and intricacy you forget you're actually reading a fiction novel and not part of the small town where it takes place. I can think of several "authors" who should take a class from her on how to effect ...more
Apr 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Now that I have plenty of free to time to read, I wanted to rekindle my love for Jodi Picoult & her books. I've read Salem Falls before but hadn't remembered all the details the second time around. SO glad this was the first of her books to read from my hiatus. It was quite long (434 pages) and I got through it in 5 days. That just goes to show how amazingly easy this book was to read and not be able to put down. This book was written in 2001 and reading it more than 10 years later, everythi ...more
Afnan Khalid
Aug 31, 2015 rated it liked it
So glad to finally finish this book! Time to start my next read to get my mind off this. I never Gillian would do something like this and I always believed Jack was innocent the entire time. It was still a great book!
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".

Nov 28, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A typical Picoult!! That was what I wanted!! Really enjoyed it!
Clare Holman-Hobbs
Why are Picoult's books so hit and miss. Nineteen Minutes and Plain Truth are both amazing but I haven't LOVED another one of her books since. It's so frustrating.
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
JPathon: Part 2 1 2 Mar 30, 2017 05:43PM  
JPathon: Part 1 1 3 Mar 30, 2017 05:42PM  
Virgin Rape & Non-virgin Rape 1 4 Jan 16, 2017 07:14PM  
Unresolved Issues? 11 163 Oct 21, 2016 03:39AM  
Potpourri Picks: Salem Falls Pages 71-142 3 23 Jun 25, 2016 11:32AM  
Young Jack? 1 10 May 17, 2015 11:53AM  
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Jodi Picoult is the author of twenty-three novels, including the #1 New York Times bestsellers 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, SMALL GREAT THINGS, is available in hardcover, ebook, and aud
More about Jodi Picoult...
“You can't look back - you just have to put the past behind you, and find something better in your future.” 891 likes
“After a certain point, a heart with so many stress fractures can never be anything but broken.” 883 likes
More quotes…