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Plain Truth

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  153,283 ratings  ·  6,826 reviews
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 ...more
Hardcover, 405 pages
Published November 1st 2004 by Atria Books (first published 2000)
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Trudy It gave a very concise view of the Amish that I found very interesting and was an integral part of the story. It wasn't in the least bit offensive or…moreIt gave a very concise view of the Amish that I found very interesting and was an integral part of the story. It wasn't in the least bit offensive or "preachy" -- simply an insight into the Amish community and their beliefs. I found it fascinating. (less)

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3.98  · 
Rating details
 ·  153,283 ratings  ·  6,826 reviews

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Sep 29, 2007 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. In fact, I could hardly put it down from the minute I started reading it. I think Picoult has a genuine talent for writing and coming up with unique story ideas.


There were a couple of things that bothered me at the end, though. I had pretty much figured out halfway through the book that Sarah had been aware of her daughter's pregnancy and was the one who had hidden the dead infant. I really felt, though, that it was inconsistent of Sarah to have both kil
Jan 16, 2008 rated it it was ok
I thought this book was pretty crummy even though it was a page-turner. I really wanted to know what happens to Katie, and what happened to the baby so I kept reading, but I didn't really enjoy the experience--I won't be reading again. Too much filler, not enough book.

* It's set among the Amish. However, I get the feeling the author doesn't really understand them, she just thought it'd be a cool setting. That irritates me.
* It's full of overused elements, such "city girl goes to far
Apr 23, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one.
I have read many of Jodi Picoult's books and I have to say this one sucked. I was not intrigued by Katie, I was annoyed and exasperated with her.

The dialogue was cheesy in many areas, and the whole thing with Hannah’s ghost was just stupid. I mean, it really does seem that the only reason the ghost was added was so that the author could explain Katie’s attraction to Adam. Oh look, he’s a ghost hunter and I see a ghost—hmmm, it must be meant to be: we should have sex. Blah.

I’m really disappointe
Oct 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
There is an Amish community close to where I live in western Pennsylvania. Each summer weekend for the past several years, I have traveled to this Amish community, admiring and purchasing the most beautiful and delectable strawberries, blueberries, tomatoes, peppers and squash... all that summer has to offer in my state's relatively short growing season. Over the years I have also developed a growing curiosity about the way this Amish community lives... close to my own community geographically a ...more
Jul 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-thriller
I'm giving this book 3.5 stars because I did enjoy reading it. But if I'm being honest, it really was quite silly. A lawyer forced to live on an Amish farm with her client? Sorry, but that's silly. Straight from the plot of a sitcom. Then there's the over-Amishing of the Amish that might stick out more for me because I live a half hour drive from where this book is set. This book is definitely more "women's fiction" than a mystery, but for women's fiction, my least favorite genre of ever, it's n ...more
Maria Kemplin
Aug 30, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
I liked the concept of this book, but was disappointed in the execution of the story line as well as the writing. My criticisms are as follows (spoilers included):

Poor editing left awkward, unfinished, or contradictory elements throughout the book. Ellie argues with Stephen about having a child and says that although he refused to undertake a vasectomy reversal, there are other ways they could have had a baby. Later, the same character said that in her desire for a baby she "wore Stephen down" a
Vanessa S.
Jun 03, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017-reads
This is my third Jodi Picoult read, and it wasn't my favorite, though I did enjoy it. The plot of the story really intrigued me because, as is mentioned throughout the story, it's not every day that you hear of a young Amish woman accused of murdering her own newborn. I loved Picoult's attention to detail throughout the story; she obviously did a great deal of research on the Amish way of life and really embraced the characters. Her research shined through the beautifully detailed descriptions o ...more
May 06, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommended to Jann by: Jill Stewart
Far be it for me to ruin anything for anyone who has yet to read this, but I really hated the end. I really, really hated it. This book had five stars in my head until I read the ending, if that gives you any indication how much I hated the ending.

Now, that being said: the rest of this book was great. The characters, for the most part, had depth and were questioning various aspects of their own morality. I have to admit that the main character, Ellie, fell a little flat. Okay, a lot flat. What
Jan 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
For sure a favorite of Picoult books for me! I love loved this book. It was interesting and entertaining. I grew up surrounded by the Amish community and this book showcased behaviors and legalities that I was not even aware of. I thoroughly enjoyed it. This is a Picoult book I would recommend to others to start with.

My quick and simple overall: Very enjoyable and hard to put down!
Jun 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
Jodi Pucoult has again demonstrated that she is a master storyteller. In Plain Truth, she weaves the story of Katie, an young Amish woman and Ellie, a thirty something lawyer. Well researched, this novel takes you into an Amish community where you experience life and their beliefs. Picoult keeps the reader entertained until the last chapter.
MJ Nicholls
Jan 29, 2010 rated it did not like it
My interview with the fêted author, taken from Real Bewks Magazine (June 2010):

Tell us about your latest book, My Crazy Family.

It is a tale of families, I suppose. Families and how they screw us up! Ha-ha-ha! In my last book, Auntie Janet’s Gallstone, I drew heavily from my experiences with my Auntie Janet. She is such a brave woman and I felt I had to tell her story, you know? I didn’t even think about it, I just wrote it down. In this book, I took a different approach. I looked at my family an
The Plain Truth is an intriguing and thought-provoking read. It is an excellently written and extremely enjoyable novel that's packed full of suspense. The novel is thoroughly gripping from beginning to end and will educate you and fascinate you at once. The level of research and detail that went into describing the Amish culture was amazing. The characters were realistic, well-developed and likeable, and even though they were from a vastly different culture I still found them relatable.

Five st
Maria V. Snyder
This was the book that my book group picked for this month. I have never read a Jodi Picoult book, but found this one captivating. I live in "Amish" country in PA and it was interesting to see another view into the Plain culture. The reason for the 3 stars were all the inconsistencies in the book. The author did her research, but...some things that were easy to find out, she flubbed. For example, there isn't a train to State College, PA - there's never been a train there, much to the chagrin of ...more
Nov 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: four-star
I very much enjoyed this fictional exploration of Amish culture and how the Amish 'Plain' people live in modern society whilst maintaining their traditional, religious values and practices.

When feisty defence attorney Ellie finds herself representing eighteen year old Katie against a murder one charge for the suspicious death of her newborn, she is challenged physically and psychologically more than she ever imagined. As conditions of her work, she is made to live among the Amish whilst keeping
Jan 09, 2014 rated it liked it
I was slightly disappointed with this book. I've read much better books by Jodi Picoult. I did learn a lot about Amish culture, something I knew nothing about and this aspect of the book was very interesting and educational. I felt there were a number of things that didn't work for me with this one though. I didn't like the main character, Katie, she came across as cold and distant and I found it difficult to muster up any feeling for her. I felt that the 'ghost' references surrounding Hannah we ...more
Jan 12, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Kipi by: Haylee
Shelves: fiction
My daughter mentioned to me that she had read several of Jodi Picoult's books and said that she thought I should read one. I have to admit that I had seen the books before, but they just didn't appeal to me; however, on Haylee's recommendation I gave this one a try. Wow. I literally could not put it down. I read until 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning several days in a row, only stopping when I could not keep my eyes open any longer. Ms. Picoult is a brilliant writer who can draw her reader into the l ...more
Linda Hart
Aug 29, 2018 rated it liked it
I read this several months ago and it was not one of my favorites While it gave wonderful insight into the Amish community and beliefs, I was (as I am so often with this otherwise gifted author) put off by some of the foul language and crude references. Although the truth doesn't come out until almost the last page, it was what I suspected at about page 250. That it dragged on another 200 pages before reaching the disappointing conclusion was just too much for me. And then there were the "ghost" ...more
Best Eggs
Jun 13, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Of all Picoult's books this is the only one (that I read, and I read ad nauseum - until the formulaic writing got me) that had a really good ending. It wasn't original, it's been done before, but in this context it wasn't guessable. The Plain Truth would make an excellent horror film a la Stephen King.
Sep 10, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
This book like many other Jodi Pocoult books was pretty soppy at points but was still interesting enough to keep me reading.

I've never read a book about the Amish before.

A little predictable.
Jun 06, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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Apr 08, 2009 rated it did not like it
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Florence (Lefty) MacIntosh
3 1/2 stars rounded to 4. My 1st Jodi Picoult and the perfect introduction - chosen because it offered a glimpse into the world of the Amish.
May 19, 2009 rated it it was amazing
"Plain Truth" is about Ellie Hathaway, a lawyer from Pennsylvania who comes to an Amish community to defend Katie, an eighteen year old accused of murdering her own newborn child. During the bail process of Katie's trial, Ellie becomes her bail official person, or the person that must stay with Katie always so she can stay at her farm home. While Ellie stays with Katie, she learns the ways of the Amish community and their practices, their ways of life, and their obvious truth. And everything get ...more
Sep 19, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Wow. I think I just found a new favorite contemporary author. I'll have to read more of Picoult.
Jun 29, 2009 rated it did not like it
I finished this book because I wanted to know how it ended, but getting to the end was pretty difficult. First off, the style got pretty confusing at times. Picoult used multiple narrators and switched between third-person and first-person so often that there was a few times I didn't know whose point-of-view I was reading.


The ending of the book was rather predictable. About a third of the way through the book I noticed that Picoult didn't put too much focus on Katie's mother, which
Mar 10, 2008 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 19, 2009 rated it really liked it
I had resisted reading a book by this author for a long time, without any valid reason, just because I saw her all over on the shelves at Target, or something. Boy am I sorry I did. I really liked listening to this book even though the voices of the narrators bothered me. The characters and the story were compelling even though they were mildly predictable, but not in a take your intelligence for granted kind of way. I now look forward to reading other books by Jodi Picoult and am glad that I jo ...more
Rosiemae Burton
Jun 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2016
I've read several of Jodi Picoult's books and by far, this one is my favourite. I got a brilliant insight into the Amish community and their way of life/beliefs and I loved the comparison with Christianity. It had a brilliant combination of religion, moral issues, crime, sympathy and thoughtfulness to be an evenly balanced novel. It was written brilliantly enough for me to be able to put myself in Katie's and Ellie's shoe. I also loved the insight into the life of a lawyer. Amazingly exceuted an ...more
Jun 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Plain truth⭐
Katie is 18, Amish, unmarried and gave birth to a baby in a barn. Ran away and left it to die scared of what people would think, how she would be treated, what her family might do. She is being sued for killing her baby but she cant testify and claim it was a stillborn birth because she refuses to admit that she had a child.
While Ellie her attorney is set against Kaite and her ways she is forced to keep a close eye on the family and grows to like them, trust them even.
Jun 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
4.0 Stars

This novel revolves around the life of Katie Fisher, an Amish girl who is accused of killing her newborn infant after concealing her pregnancy and delivering the baby in secret. Fortunately for Katie, at the time of her arrest, she has a distant and unknown relative named Ellie Hathaway, who is a high profile criminal attorney. Ellie is taking a much needed break from her career after concluding a stressful criminal trial and ending her eight year relationship that failed to yield the c
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Jodi Picoult is the author of twenty-four novels, including the #1 New York Times bestsellers Small Great Things, 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, A SPARK OF LIGHT, is available in hardcove
“Things had a way of working out for the best when you let them run their course.” 297 likes
“If you didn't remember something happening, was it because it never had happened? Or because you wished it hadn't?” 252 likes
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