This is only the second of Picoult’s novels that I have read, but like Nineteen Minutes, I thoroughly enjoyed it.
The discovery of a dead infant in an Amish barn shakes Lancaster County to its core. But the police investigation leads to a more shocking disclosure: circumstantial evidence suggests that eighteen-year-old Katie Fisher, an unmarried Amish woman believed to be the newborn’s mother, took the child’s life. When Ellie Hathaway, a disillusioned big city attorney, comes to Paradise, Pennsylvania, to defend Katie, two cultures collide and, for the first time in her high profile career, Ellie faces a system of justice very different from her own. Delving deep into the world of those who live ‘plain’, Ellie must find a way to reach Katie on her terms. As she unravels a tangled murder case, Ellie also looks deep within to confront her own fears and desires when a man from her past comes back into her life.
I was completely hooked by this book from the opening page. The story is full of love, court room drama, murder and faith. I have no idea if what Picoult writes about the Amish is correct, but it certainly opened my eyes a little bit. I had a go at guessing the end, which I got wrong, but on reflection I should have seen coming. However, that does not affect the story at all. I found myself loving the characters, sympathising with them, wishing I had some of that Amish peace and thinking about the story when I wasn’t reading the book. In fact, I am still reflecting now. I was even getting angry at the prosecution in the court! I felt like I was there watching, I love a book where I feel like I’m involved. I loved the ending. Highlight to view spoiler: I had initially thought that Katie’s father did the killing, but it turned out to be her mother, who was just trying to hold onto the only child she had left. I found that just so touching. There was excitment on virtually every page. I can only highly recommend this book.