Jodi Picoult and Marmite

I have read nearly every single novel that Jodi Picoult has written and her fiction is very hit and miss. But when it’s good, it’s fantastic! She writes women’s fiction and she tackles some very complex issues and framed under the ‘what would you do’ selling point. She tackles a multitude of moral issues, issues of faith and does so very well. Some of her novels are absolutely stunning and gripping whilst others are not terrible but they are just not as good, they are weaker. Perhaps it is the subject matter that doesn’t interest me but there is a definite difference. I have put together a guide to her novels so to give you the benefit of my opinion of which novels to go to first. THE AMAZING-READ THEM RIGHT NOW-YOUR LIFE WILL NEVER ME THE SAME NOVELS. The Pact. This is one of my favourite novels. If anyone made me narrow it down (GASP) then this would make the cut. I actually FAILED A UNIVERSITY ASSIGNMENT because of this book! This novel tells the story of two families that have been close for a very long time, so much so their daughter and son have developed a relationship. However, at the beginning of the book, we discover that the daughter Emily has died and that the other families’s son has survived, he said they had a suicide pact but he couldn’t do it. Chris is then on trial for murder and the novel twists and turns from the past to the present until we find out the truth at the end. As a young person I found that I resonated a lot with the relationship between Chris and Emily and so that part of the novel gripped me and I couldn’t stop reading. This novel doesn’t let you know exactly what happens until very late on but there are lots of teaser parts of the plot revealed along the way that grip you and don’t allow you to do anything but read this until the end. There are many different points of view in this novel and this makes the book even better. It allows you to view the reverberations of suicide from different perspectives. One thing that Jodi Picoult does really well is fantastic court scenes. I felt I was actually in the court and she creates the tension and the atmosphere so well that I forgot to breathe many times! This is an enthralling story and is definitely worth reading *START READING NOW….ARE YOU READING IT YET????*

Handle With Care. Jodi Picoult is most well known for her movie adapted My Sisters Keeper. This novel is just as harrowing with another family facing impossible decisions and choices. The O’keefe family have a daughter with osteogenesis which as we see in the book rules their life as their daughter is so fragile and can be injured very easily. The mounting costs of caring for their daughter who soon needs another expensive wheelchair forces them to consider their options. They are told that they could sue the OBGYN for not spotting the condition early in the pregnancy (who just happens to be their best friend) but it would mean telling the world that they wouldn’t have had their daughter they would have aborted her. We follow them on this journey trying to navigate this turbulent situation that was not theirs by choice. The beauty of this novel is highlights that everybody can judge others. But without being in their situation we really have no right to do anything about our judgements. The realism of the writing means that you feel like part of the family, you are in the midst of the familie’s dilemma and it makes you really think about how other peoples judgements are given a lot of power to destroy people. To effect people who are just doing the best they can with the hand they have been given, when the person doing the judging has no idea. This book is written with heart and feeling and it will stay with you for a long time. I have to admit I was not that happy with the ending of the novel and I am curious to see what anyone else thought! Please comment if you have or when you have read this book.
Nineteen Minutes In this novel Jodi Picoult tackles a school shooting. Throughout the novel we are constantly wanting answers to what happened to make this horrendous situation occur. We see the ramifications of a school shooting from different points of view and once again Picoult makes us question our right to judge. She shows us that there is usually something more than what we see with our eyes. This is a riveting novel with many strands and thought provoking moments! READ READ READ!
House Rules In this book Picoult looks at Asperger’s syndrome, but not only that, people’s quick judgements of people who are different. She looks at the way people who are different are mistreated and not tolerated. Jacob has a fascinatioin with forensic science in the way that only some one with Aspergers would have. It is an obsession for him but this is misinterpreted when a murder happens to someone that he knows. This book looks at the way in which family life is hard enough when one of the members has this syndrome but how it becomes even harder when the outside world comes through the door bringing its misguided judgements with it. This book is a fascinating read and as Autism and Asperger’s become a lot more prominent in society so this book allows the reader to learn about and change the way that they look at people with the condition and their families. A heart warming read and a very very good take on the issues surrounding people with learning difficulties and their place in society.
Keeping Faith This novel was the first that I read of Picoult and it was very very strange and interesting. It deals with religion in a way that doesn’t put you off – as some religious fiction can be really heavy and daunting. I am not a very religious person but I enjoyed this book immensely! This book is about the mother and daughter Mariah and Faith, they are caught up in family strife involving a messy divorce and custody battle, then add into the mix the fact that Faith begins to hear voices. Then miracles start to happen in the form of ‘healings’. It sounds rather dubious but the writing style and the way it is incorporated into the plot is excellent. You will see what I mean when you read it! This novel is very intriguing and the way in which Picoult deals with the ideas of religion and miracles is very fresh and modern.
THE GOOD BUT NOT AS GRIPPING NOVELS- WORTH A READ IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN THE TOPICPlain Truth This book looks at the Amish religion. A non Amish lawyer is trying to defend a young amish girl and ends up going to stay with the girl’s family and becomes immersed in their way of life. This book while not as gripping as her other books it is very informative and interesting to explore other cultures and ways of life. Picoult excels at making people that we would never think that we could understand to life in a way that we actually do begin to understand them and acknowledge why they believe what they do. I believe that Picoult’s novels break down the barriers between cultures and people and show that we are all are at the end of the day, human. Which is a notion that many are quick to forget. This is worth a read if you are interested in other cultures and also the law.
The Storyteller I rather enjoyed this novel, it blends the tales of survivors of the Holocaust with tales from the actual Nazi camps in a way that was really though provoking. It was a really interesting read although I have to admit that I preferred the parts of the book that were set in the past in the actual camps because they were captivating, like you were there. Although the connections and twists were very interesting but it wasn’t as enthralling as her other novels. If you are interested in the holocaust then you will like this book, or even if you don’t know much about it but you want to. Picoult informs the reader of these events that doesn’t feel like a history lesson but a real story that you are part of.
Interesting Reads but not as good (In my opinion)Lone Wolf, Vanishing Acts, Mercy, Sing you home, The Tenth circle, Salem Falls, Picture Perfect, Other Jodi Picoult BooksNOT AS ENTHRALLING READS!Change of Heart,Songs of a humpbacked whale,Leaving Time/ Larger than Life, Second Glance,Harvesting the Heart Other Jodi Picoult Books I really hope you read the ones that I have highlighted as they are positively fascinating examinations of this complicated world that we live in! Like Marmite, some of her books I love and some of them I hate.

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