PLAIN TRUTH book review written by Cassandra L.

In Jodi Picoult’s seventh novel we dive into a world where individuality is frowned upon. Into a world where community and family is everything. When a high powered defense attorney is thrown into the middle of Amish Lancaster County you’ll be shocked and riveted by a murder mystery unheard of. Katie Fischer is an Amish girl working on her parents dairy farm and is the prime suspect for the birth and murder of a newborn child. It’s her lawyer’s and far off cousin, Ellie’s, job to prove she’s innocent. With the state’s prosecuting attorney constantly nipping at their heels and more layers are peeled away from Katie Fischer’s very private lifestyle it’s very hard to continue to believe her innocence of the charges made against her.

In this book Picoult expresses her very evident love for the legal system. In this, as in many of her novels, we examine and investigate a murder suspect even when it’s a person we would never perceive capable of murder. Delving deep into this novel you find that she is exploring not just one system of justice but two. The system of justice we know and recognize as ‘’Englischers’’ and the system of’ accept and repent or be banished’ practiced by the strict Amish community of Lancaster County. You’d think that a ‘fair and speedy trial’ would be fair and honest. In her community Katie is forced to both endure a ‘fair and speedy trial’ and a trial by her peers which can be much more daunting then any courtroom. She is asked to admit to her sin and repent so as to ‘make her things right’ in her community. In a courtroom she is asked to admit to her charges by the prosecuting attorney then asked to deny them by her defense and is caught in a whirlwind of confusion and memory loss.

This book causes to think of the legal system in a perspective of the Amish of Lancaster county and to look at Amish life in a new and investigative way. From drama in the courtroom to drama on the farm, to building new friendships and losing old ones, from discovering new loves and uncovering old ones, this book, one of Picoult’s finest, forces you to delve deep in the life of a high powered attorney forced to babysit a murder suspect on an Amish dairy farm and forces you to take into account your own experiences and your own life as it relates and is not related to those character’s so beautifully represented in this novel. Picoult’s love for new and strange murder mystery’s is evident and greatly appreciated as is her unique writing style and representation of different cultures. This novel makes for a great read for anyone interested in murder mystery’s, love stories, cultural examinations, and self reflections.


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