Plain Truth by Jodi Picoult 432 pages Washington Square Press (2001)
Katie, an eighteen-year-old Amish girl sneaks out at 2 am to give birth in her family's barn. After the newborn is found dead, there are many questions that need answering and Katie and the rest of her Plain people don't seem to do any answering. Ellie Hathaway, a cousin of Katie is disappointed by the superficiality of her life in the city and she moves to Paradise, Pennsylvania to live with their common aunt. She has no idea that the two cultures that she is a part of, city living and the Plain Paradise of the Amish will collide with such force, pinning her in the middle. What is the truth? Who is telling it? It will be Ellie's responsibility to find the answers, the answers that no one is giving.
I read this with my book club, and we all seemed to agree, it was an entertaining read, but not much more than that. The writing was not amazing. To me it felt more like a movie than a book, probably just because of the different twists in the plot, it felt like it was set up for film. I have to say that because I am fascinated by the Amish customs and mindset, that aspect of the book really did make me think. I am interested in why they do what they do, and how it works for them. I know this was fiction, but when it came to the culture Picoult tried to stay factual as far as the Plain people go.
Final analysis of my first Picoult experience: it was entertaining and interesting to learn more about the Plain people, but beyond that it wasn't something any of us will wave around in the air telling our friends and family to read it. It was okay, and I don't see the need to seek out any of her others at this point.
Have you read Plain Truth? Which is your favourite book by Jodi Picoult? How many of hers have you read? What did you think?