Patty Fitzgerald's Reviews > Plain Truth

Plain Truth by Jodi Picoult
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's review
Aug 22, 2011

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Read in August, 2011

Okay, I get that Picoult has a formula...and that's why I can only read her once a year or so. I really admire the way she takes a provocative issue and digs deep, deep, deep into all angles, refusing to allow the reader to get away with a black-or-white viewpoint. That said, her side stories--particularly the romances--are shockingly trite and immature. Sometimes, it's like there are two different writers at work. "Vanishing Acts"--intriguing plot about an adult woman who discovers that she was the subject of a custody-driven kidnapping. Stupid arc about a love triangle. "Second Glances" melded ghosts and eugenics in a fascinating way (most of the time). I really enjoyed "My Sister's Keeper," which not only explored the issue of deciding to have a baby to help a sick sibling, but layered on multiple angles and perspectives, with really vivid narratives from different characters. So, my expectations were high for "Plain Truth," which involves a neonaticide on an Amish farm. While the story kept me turning the pages with barely a pause, this one was a disappointment. Once again, the love story side plot was out of a bad romance novel. That aside, the lead character also was fairly one-dimensional and predictable. It wasn't that her journey wasn't interesting, it's just that I feel like I've seen how the "plain" lifestyle opens the eyes of a Type-A go-getter in a million books, movies and tv shows. I didn't feel like I got much "new" information from this one. About the only thing that I truly found interesting was the co-lead character's interpretation of confession and punishment. And I guessed the remaining "whodunnit" angle long before it was revealed. Really wanted to like this one more....
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