Newest Review: ... don't like. They want him out and begin a vigilante style attack on Jack until he ends up in a no win situation and the usual court case... more
Salem Falls on to my bookshelf to stay...
Salem Falls - Jodi Picoult
Member Name: Ainat
Salem Falls - Jodi Picoult
Date: 07/05/11, updated on 07/02/12 (32 review reads)
Advantages: A definite page turner
Disadvantages: Aspects could have been developed further
Jodi Picoult's name is one that more and more people are hearing about and noticing on the shelves in book stores or in the library. I am a big fan of hers and love her books. Each has you questioning some sort of dilemma and has the reader constantly thinking 'what would I do in that situation?', 'who would I side with?', 'what would I be thinking?'. This element of constant reader self questioning is something I think Jodi does well in all her books.
To give a quick over-view of the plot (without giving too much away of course :-P ) Jack St.Bride was a school teacher with a good reputation until one of his pupils accuses him of rape. Jack is encouraged to say that he committed the offence in order to get a reduced sentence of 8 months. On his release Jack sets off with a determination to start a new life away from the past and the accusations. Fate brings him to Salem Falls, a small town, where Jack soon settles in and begins a relationship with the diner owner Addie Peabody... that is until the locals find out about his past. Things are stirred up in the town, and with most of the town believing that Jack committed the first offence, it is easy for them to believe that when Jack is accused of rape again that he is guilty. The girl that accuses him of rape is Gilly, the teenage daughter of one of the most influential men in the town. The reader finds out a little about Gilly and her three close friends, all of whom follow the Pagan religion secretly. The girls are out celebrating Beltane the night the accused rape happens. After the accusation, the inevitable courtroom drama follows. The reader is given a number of clues throughout. Some point to Jack at being a clear suspect, some help prove his innocence. Addie stands by Jack, but has her moments of doubting him. What you believe as the reader is left up to you.
There are other things that are dealt with throughout the book as minor storylines, but I shall leave you to discover those by reading it. I don't want to give too much away.
The way in which this book is written it is clear that Jodi has done some homework. The court scenes are described in detail, really letting the leader believe in the trail and the various witnesses that are called to the stand. Some aspects of the Pagan religion are discussed in enough detail for the story to be believable. That being said however, this aspect of the storyline could have possibly been developed a little more... but there is enough detail there for the story to take place and flow.
I enjoyed the way that we get to know the history of the characters, which gives them depth throughout. The way the chapters are written allows the reader to move backwards and forwards in time, which I felt was a good way to allow us to discover more about the characters history.
Not the lightest of books to read, but then a book centred around rape isn't going to be. I enjoyed the various perspectives that the book gives from the victim, to the accused, to those that support both sides. It isn't as simple as only seeing one point of view. There are points throughout that leave you guessing, some more predictable than others, and there is a bit of a Jodi twist at the end, although not quite in the same league as some of her other books.
Overall, a definite page turner, and well worth a read. Not my favourite Jodi Picoult book, but a brilliant read none the less, so would recommend!
Currently availiable on Amazon for £4.14 with free delivery (May 2011) however I picked up my copy from a local charity shop.
Summary: Not my favourite Jodi Picoult, but definitely worth a read!