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When Jack St. Bride arrives by chance in the sleepy New England town of Salem Falls, he decides to reinvent himself. Tall, blond, and handsome, Jack was once a beloved teacher and soccer coach at a girls' prep school -- until a student's crush sparked a powder keg of accusation and robbed him of his reputation. Now, working for minimum wage washing dishes for Addie Peabody at the Do-Or-Diner, Jack buries his past, content to become the mysterious stranger who has appeared out of the blue.
With ghosts of her own haunting her, Addie Peabody is as cautious around men as Jack St. Bride is around women. But as this unassuming stranger steps smoothly into the diner's daily routine, she finds him fitting just as comfortably inside her heart -- and slowly, a gentle, healing love takes hold between them.
Yet planting roots in Salem Falls may prove fateful for Jack. Amid the white-painted centuries-old churches, a quartet of bored, privileged teenage girls have formed a coven that is crossing the line between amusement and malicious intent. Quick to notice the attractive new employee at Addie's diner, the girls turn Jack's world upside down with a shattering allegation that causes history to repeat itself -- and forces Jack to proclaim his innocence once again. Suddenly nothing in Salem Falls is as it seems: a safe haven turns dangerous, an innocent girl meets evil face-to-face, a dishwasher with a Ph.D. is revealed to be an ex-con. As Jack's hidden past catches up with him, the seams of this tiny town begin to tear, and the emerging truth becomes a slippery concept written in shades of gray. Now Addie, desperate for answers, must look into her heart -- and into Jack's lies and shadowy secrets -- for evidence that will condemn or redeem the man she has come to love.

Topics: New England, Sexual Abuse, Suspenseful, Dramatic, Love, Scandal, Incest, and Trauma

Published: Atria Books on
ISBN: 9780743422796
List price: $11.99
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Interesting read. Enjoyed the story, unsure of how it would end at first, but it quickly became apparent.more
Interesting premise. Kind of predictable, but still a good story.more
Unlike many Jodi Picoult novels, this one is not as much of a tear-jerker. It has the defense attorney and his son and investigator from the Pact as key characters and it was nice to have their familiarity in this storyline. I enjoyed the way the story played out and the emotional depth of the characters.

The one negative about this story, is that if you go by the main characters in this novel it seems 85% of the population is either a rapist, or a rape victim. Numbers that I believe are extensively higher than is realistic.more
on Friday, April 21, 2006 I wrote:


Read it in a day.
Very good book. I did not know what to expect (try not to read descriptions) and was pleasantly surprised.
Thanks for sharing.

more
Salem Falls by Jodi Picoult is an interesting book about a young man named Jack who is accused of raping one of his students. He didn't really do it but is sentenced to a few months in prison. He moves into the small town of Salem Falls where nothing bad every happens. He starts working at a diner run by a girl named Addie who he falls in love with. Eventually the town finds out about his past and things go all down hill for him and he is accused of rape again. There are other many twists and turns in this book like Gilly and her friends who practice witchcraft. The book kept my attention throughout the whole thing. Over all it was a very good book!more
Picoult writes another drama filled story that makes you want more with each turn of the page. Jack St Bride moves to a new town after being convicted of rape (although he is innocent). Word gets around in this new town, and Jack is unwanted by a lot of the townspeople. Soon, he is accused of another rape, (which he again did not do) by another teenage girl who was rejected by Jack. As we go through all the evidence in the his second trail, things get interesting and the end is very surprising.more
Synopsis: Jack St Bride is trying to start afresh in a town called Salem Falls after being convicted of rape when he worked as a teacher and serving prison time. However, when the small town discovers his colourful history its residents try to force him out and victimise him. When a young female in Salem Falls alleges that Jack has raped her, things turn even worse.My Opinion: The book started off well however the last half and result in court was a little too predictable. More telling of the after-math would have made for a better closure.more
I've never read Picoult before because I am always wary of novels which seem to be About a Topic (capitals intentional there). As in, this novel is About Autism. This novel is About School Shootings. This novel is About Child Abduction. This wariness is a clear result of my thoughts on artful fiction, what it should do, and how it works. I think fiction should arise from discovery and exploration, and little red flags go up for me when I see that a novel is about something specific that we could just as easily be reading in a news magazine. A novel About Adultery seems to me like a very different thing than a novel with betrayal as a theme. I suspect the first of being forcibly made into a story about one particular thing because it is topical; I believe the second has a better chance of arising through writerly discovery. Either book could be terrible. And either book might be very good, I suppose, which is why I decided to give Picoult a try.I chose carefully, picking a novel I had heard nothing about and whose topic sounded interesting to me. And I tried to read with an open mind. What I found in Salem Falls was better than I expected it to be, but still left me pretty cold.The novel is the story of Jack St. Bride, who spent eight months in jail as part of plea bargain when an infatuated sixteen-year-old girl on the soccer team he coached claimed they were having a sexual affair. Jack is innocent, and we are never led to suspect otherwise. When he arrives in Salem Falls just after being released from jail, he finds a job at a diner and tentatively begins a relationship with the diner's owner. That Jack is a sexual offender makes its way around town, and a group of fathers in town make it their business to make it clear to Jack (through vandalism and personal violence) that Jack is not welcome. Eventually Jack is accused of rape by one of the town's teenage girls, a girl who readers already know is mad at Jack (for failing to show a sexual interest in her), craves attention, and was almost certainly high at the time of the alleged rape. The book then becomes a courtroom drama, with a lot of focus on gathering evidence and the presentation of the case in court.Picoult writes pretty well. Sentences are clear and coherent, the story pulls one along, there are few of the kinds of tics that suggest a writer is not taking care with the craft, and the aspects of the story which probably required research ring true enough. But there is a tendency to overwrite and to over-sentimentalize. Honest, every action doesn't require a simile describing it, especially not if those similes try to give the actions meaning they don't deserve. And scars don't form in the shape of hearts on girls whose hearts have been trampled. Come on.There were a lot of moments like those, those moments where I thought, "This is manipulation. I'm being told to feel something here, not being allowed to discover a truth along with the writer." I have little patience for that sort of thing, but other problems I had with the novel were probably even more important. These characters were cardboard; there was no complexity to them at all. Not one of them did a single thing that furthered the reader's understanding of the character or of the situation they found themselves in. Everyone behaved as expected; nothing ever asked the reader to stretch for meaning or growth. And that is almost disturbing in a novel whose main focus is a man being destroyed by people who can't seem to conceive of things being not the way they appear. At about the two-thirds mark, I started asking myself what the the point of this book might be. I'll admit to being fairly well engaged--I wanted to know what would happen, I wanted to see if the story would come out the way it should or if injustice would prevail. And if making me want to turn the pages to find out What next? is all the novel was trying to do, well, then, I'd say it succeeds. But the flap of Salem Falls claims that Picoult's novels demonstrate "'a firm grasp of the delicacy and complexity of human relationships.'" That being the case, I would expect to discover something by reading the book. The novel tells me (and even, maybe, in some instances, shows me) that teenage girls sometimes become infatuated with older men; that such infatuation can lead to trouble, not least because teenage girls often don't have the maturity to deal with their infatuation or understand the full ramifications of acting on them; that good people tend to believe the worst about people who have been labeled as "bad"; that fathers protect their daughters, sometimes to the point of blindness toward their daughters themselves. Okay. Agreed. But I'd have agreed before I read word one of the novel; the story doesn't help me see anything new about any of this, doesn't help me understand any of it better or more fully. And without an arrival at some better or fuller understanding, I sort of feel like Salem Falls is just rolling around in Statutory Rape and False Accusations and Witch Hunts in order to pick up the emotions already associated with those topics and pass them on without adding anything worthwhile to the mix.more
I absolutely loved this book! You really do feel sorry for coach McBride after hearing his story. When he starts to fall in love you think people will start to change and forget his past but not so. My favorite part of the book was when the trial started and the most surprising was the end. Althought I suspected for a second, Jodi Picoult took you away from thinking that was the case. You'll know when you read it.more
A typical thriller with all the necessary ingredients to make an entertaining reading.Jack is a young man who paid the unfair price of a defective legal system. Incarcerated eight months for a crime he didn't commit, he seeks refuge in a quiet place to start anew and arrives one morning in Salem Falls with nothing in his pockets.Addie has her own ghosts, but when she meets Jack, she accepts him without any questions and he starts working at her Cafeteria.It's not long until feelings start to arise between them and when they take definite steps towards a future together, tragedy strikes again and Jack is accused for the same crime as before: raping a minor.Here you are: you've got a love story, a classical thriller with a supernatural tilt (Salem and witches rings a bell, doesn't it??) all in one book.So, you've got a decent plot, and the pages of the story flow fast and easy, the style is direct and simple and the characters are well constructed, with glimpses of John Grisham's and Nora Robert's style.I'd say the novel is perfect for a summer reading or for a lazy stormy Sunday evening, but don't expect a deeper glance into the subjects the author deals with, it's only entertainment, and nothing else. As long as you know that, sit down and enjoy, don't search for enlightenment, because you won't find it in this novel.**SPOILER***As for the final surprise, I regret to tell you that it's quite foreseeable, at least it was crystal clear to me!Pretty well written though, so worth reading it all the same!more
Salem Falls was a good read. I liked the way the writer implied a lot things but let the reader figure it or conclude on his own. The ending proves my point. It definitely explores how naive and dangerous a teenage girl can be. The ending couldn't have been any better.more
not Jodi's best but still a good book to curl up to with a nice tale of redemptionmore
Salem Falls by Jodi Picoult was a pleasure to read . Picoult talks about the rough times of a new comer to Salem who is accused of lying and rape . I would recommend this book to teens who have went through that stage where you know you haven't done something but no matter what you do everything in your power to prove your innocence just like our main character Jack St. Bridemore
Small town culture run amok. Convicted--but innocent-- of sexual abuse with a student, Jack Mcbride moves to a new community, where he falls in love with Addie, who has been grieving for her dead daughter for years. Meanwhile, a g roup of teenage girls has formed a coven, with a ringleader damaged by her own family tragedy who falls for the new guy in town. The outcome is predictable from the start, and is reminiscent of The Crucible and other tales of witchcraft and victimization. Some positive characters redeem the downward spiral, and Picoult has a way of making us care for her characters, but this novel isn't up to her others.more
Like all of Picoult's books, this one explores some difficult subject matter. In this case, rape, and secondarily, a mild degree of teenage witchcraft. While some of this novel was somewhat predictable, and many readers of Picoult tend to feel she follows a pattern in her books, I continue to enjoy each and every one. This one was no exception. I love the subject matter she chooses to explore & admire her for tackling controversial subjects.more
This book really shines in the descriptions of the lives of it's characters, but the plot seems to lack a bit. Picoult seems to excell at creating wonderful, three dimentional characters, but seems at a loss at what to do with them once she has their lives figured out. This is more or less a Lifetime movie in book format. Neither good nor bad, but not really memorable.more
I liked this book. I had my supspions about the ending from early on in the book but I was still a good read. Jodi Picoult has an excellent way of telling the story from different charachter points of view.more
Jodi Picoult is lauded as a writer who makes her readers really think about difficult issues. So I guess I was expecting something new while I was reading Salem Falls.In a nutshell, Salem Falls deals with the topics of rape and witchcraft.I wouldn't say that Picoult dealt with it in a horrible manner. I thought she was sensitive, and I thought that she did a pretty good job of showing multiple facets of rape.I also, however, thought her book was fairly predictable. The very end of the novel feels like it's supposed to be a twist, something the reader didn't see on a first reading. Well, I saw it, and I saw it within the first third of the novel, which is relatively early.I did like that the ending wasn't quite so black and white. I was kind of expecting that all of the bad guys were going to be outed, and that the good guy (there was really only one) was going to be exonerated, and if the book had ended that way, I would be decrying it as a piece of unrealistic tripe.I would say this book is O.K. Nothing amazing; nothing horrible. Unfortunately, nothing special.more
The absolute unfairness of life situations out of one's control is captured in this story by Picoult. I really disliked teenage girls for awhile after reading this book and as a Mom, it was hard to imagine what life would be like if you lost a child. I thought this Picoult book was pretty good.more
Not my favorite Jodi Picoult book, but I still enjoyed.more
PLUS –•Honestly? I can’t think of anything. I really didn’t like this book. I suppose it could have been an interesting topic to look at – justice, being wrongly accused. But…MINUS –•I didn’t like any of the characters. I didn’t empathise with any of them and rapidly found that I didn’t really care what happened to any of them, at which point I sent the book off to a charity shop!more
This is the first time I've read Jodi Picoult, and it won't be the last. I couldn't have picked a better one to start with. Once, begun, I had to finish it, the story gripped me from start to finish. The only slight drawbacks, were the flashbacks, which I felt slowed to story down, or kept you waiting in suspense, for the outcome. The courtoom scenes were interesting and insightful,more
Jodi Picoult's Salem Falls is a modern day re-telling loosely based on Arthur Miller's classic tale, The Crucible. After being released from a wrongful imprisonment for statutory rape, Jack St. Bride comes to Salem Falls in search of a new beginning. He finds a job at the local diner working for it's quirky owner Addie, but finds it difficult to gain the trust of the other small-town locals. He has to register with the local police department as a sex offender, and in no time, the entire town seems to know about his checkered, albeit undeserved past. When a naïve teenage girl is assaulted in Salem Falls, Jack quickly becomes the prime suspect. Salem Falls is my third Jodi Picoult book, having read both My Sister's Keeper and Plain Truth sometime in the last few years. I am familiar with Picoult's writing style, and so far, have enjoyed everything I've read from her. Salem Falls took a little longer to "hook" me than the others I've read, but once things started to snowball in Jack's new life, I had to see what would happen next.Picoult's writing is lyrical and the story captivated me, however, there was just something missing when it came to character development. I liked Addie and Jack's characters, but even they lacked a certain something that is difficult to define. The storyline about the girls practicing the Wican faith in Salem Falls was interesting, and were really some of the most engrossing parts of the book. That being said, Salem Falls is still a good read - it just didn't quite live up to the other Picoult books I've read. One thing that Picoult always does well is her endings, and this one is no different. It sneaks up on you out of nowhere - you'll never see it coming and it's one of the most fantastic things about reading a Picoult novel!As far as recommending Salem Falls to other readers, I would recommend you try another Picoult if it's your first foray into her world. However, if you are familiar with The Crucible you will enjoy tracing the parallels in Salem Falls. Overall I am glad I picked it up, and will definitely be reading more from Picoult in the future.more
Pulled this off my bookshelf for a quick review. This one reminds me of the movie, "The Shawshank Redemption." It focuses on a man who served prison time for a wrongful rape accusation, and his integration back into society. It gives you a new view of judgements & actions driven by fear. It also gives an often overlooked glimpse of the experiences of the accused's loved ones. I'd give this 4 out of 5 stars. A good read that revolves around controversial matters, which is a recurring theme in Jodi Picoult's novels.more
Salem Falls is another one of Jodi Picoult's page turners. Jack St. Bride comes into the town of Salem Falls after an 8 month prison sentence. By luck he finds a job at the Do-or-Diner and ends up falling for the store owner. He seems to slowly be piecing back together his life when 4 young girls who believe themselves to be witches find out his secret--and threaten to turn his life upside down. Jack's past catches up with him and the horrors of his past become public knowledge.Picoult has written another suspense that is well worth the read.more
A not very believable story and I found the portrayal of the wiccan religion rather unfair but it is an ok easy read.more
Read all 43 reviews

Reviews

Interesting read. Enjoyed the story, unsure of how it would end at first, but it quickly became apparent.more
Interesting premise. Kind of predictable, but still a good story.more
Unlike many Jodi Picoult novels, this one is not as much of a tear-jerker. It has the defense attorney and his son and investigator from the Pact as key characters and it was nice to have their familiarity in this storyline. I enjoyed the way the story played out and the emotional depth of the characters.

The one negative about this story, is that if you go by the main characters in this novel it seems 85% of the population is either a rapist, or a rape victim. Numbers that I believe are extensively higher than is realistic.more
on Friday, April 21, 2006 I wrote:


Read it in a day.
Very good book. I did not know what to expect (try not to read descriptions) and was pleasantly surprised.
Thanks for sharing.

more
Salem Falls by Jodi Picoult is an interesting book about a young man named Jack who is accused of raping one of his students. He didn't really do it but is sentenced to a few months in prison. He moves into the small town of Salem Falls where nothing bad every happens. He starts working at a diner run by a girl named Addie who he falls in love with. Eventually the town finds out about his past and things go all down hill for him and he is accused of rape again. There are other many twists and turns in this book like Gilly and her friends who practice witchcraft. The book kept my attention throughout the whole thing. Over all it was a very good book!more
Picoult writes another drama filled story that makes you want more with each turn of the page. Jack St Bride moves to a new town after being convicted of rape (although he is innocent). Word gets around in this new town, and Jack is unwanted by a lot of the townspeople. Soon, he is accused of another rape, (which he again did not do) by another teenage girl who was rejected by Jack. As we go through all the evidence in the his second trail, things get interesting and the end is very surprising.more
Synopsis: Jack St Bride is trying to start afresh in a town called Salem Falls after being convicted of rape when he worked as a teacher and serving prison time. However, when the small town discovers his colourful history its residents try to force him out and victimise him. When a young female in Salem Falls alleges that Jack has raped her, things turn even worse.My Opinion: The book started off well however the last half and result in court was a little too predictable. More telling of the after-math would have made for a better closure.more
I've never read Picoult before because I am always wary of novels which seem to be About a Topic (capitals intentional there). As in, this novel is About Autism. This novel is About School Shootings. This novel is About Child Abduction. This wariness is a clear result of my thoughts on artful fiction, what it should do, and how it works. I think fiction should arise from discovery and exploration, and little red flags go up for me when I see that a novel is about something specific that we could just as easily be reading in a news magazine. A novel About Adultery seems to me like a very different thing than a novel with betrayal as a theme. I suspect the first of being forcibly made into a story about one particular thing because it is topical; I believe the second has a better chance of arising through writerly discovery. Either book could be terrible. And either book might be very good, I suppose, which is why I decided to give Picoult a try.I chose carefully, picking a novel I had heard nothing about and whose topic sounded interesting to me. And I tried to read with an open mind. What I found in Salem Falls was better than I expected it to be, but still left me pretty cold.The novel is the story of Jack St. Bride, who spent eight months in jail as part of plea bargain when an infatuated sixteen-year-old girl on the soccer team he coached claimed they were having a sexual affair. Jack is innocent, and we are never led to suspect otherwise. When he arrives in Salem Falls just after being released from jail, he finds a job at a diner and tentatively begins a relationship with the diner's owner. That Jack is a sexual offender makes its way around town, and a group of fathers in town make it their business to make it clear to Jack (through vandalism and personal violence) that Jack is not welcome. Eventually Jack is accused of rape by one of the town's teenage girls, a girl who readers already know is mad at Jack (for failing to show a sexual interest in her), craves attention, and was almost certainly high at the time of the alleged rape. The book then becomes a courtroom drama, with a lot of focus on gathering evidence and the presentation of the case in court.Picoult writes pretty well. Sentences are clear and coherent, the story pulls one along, there are few of the kinds of tics that suggest a writer is not taking care with the craft, and the aspects of the story which probably required research ring true enough. But there is a tendency to overwrite and to over-sentimentalize. Honest, every action doesn't require a simile describing it, especially not if those similes try to give the actions meaning they don't deserve. And scars don't form in the shape of hearts on girls whose hearts have been trampled. Come on.There were a lot of moments like those, those moments where I thought, "This is manipulation. I'm being told to feel something here, not being allowed to discover a truth along with the writer." I have little patience for that sort of thing, but other problems I had with the novel were probably even more important. These characters were cardboard; there was no complexity to them at all. Not one of them did a single thing that furthered the reader's understanding of the character or of the situation they found themselves in. Everyone behaved as expected; nothing ever asked the reader to stretch for meaning or growth. And that is almost disturbing in a novel whose main focus is a man being destroyed by people who can't seem to conceive of things being not the way they appear. At about the two-thirds mark, I started asking myself what the the point of this book might be. I'll admit to being fairly well engaged--I wanted to know what would happen, I wanted to see if the story would come out the way it should or if injustice would prevail. And if making me want to turn the pages to find out What next? is all the novel was trying to do, well, then, I'd say it succeeds. But the flap of Salem Falls claims that Picoult's novels demonstrate "'a firm grasp of the delicacy and complexity of human relationships.'" That being the case, I would expect to discover something by reading the book. The novel tells me (and even, maybe, in some instances, shows me) that teenage girls sometimes become infatuated with older men; that such infatuation can lead to trouble, not least because teenage girls often don't have the maturity to deal with their infatuation or understand the full ramifications of acting on them; that good people tend to believe the worst about people who have been labeled as "bad"; that fathers protect their daughters, sometimes to the point of blindness toward their daughters themselves. Okay. Agreed. But I'd have agreed before I read word one of the novel; the story doesn't help me see anything new about any of this, doesn't help me understand any of it better or more fully. And without an arrival at some better or fuller understanding, I sort of feel like Salem Falls is just rolling around in Statutory Rape and False Accusations and Witch Hunts in order to pick up the emotions already associated with those topics and pass them on without adding anything worthwhile to the mix.more
I absolutely loved this book! You really do feel sorry for coach McBride after hearing his story. When he starts to fall in love you think people will start to change and forget his past but not so. My favorite part of the book was when the trial started and the most surprising was the end. Althought I suspected for a second, Jodi Picoult took you away from thinking that was the case. You'll know when you read it.more
A typical thriller with all the necessary ingredients to make an entertaining reading.Jack is a young man who paid the unfair price of a defective legal system. Incarcerated eight months for a crime he didn't commit, he seeks refuge in a quiet place to start anew and arrives one morning in Salem Falls with nothing in his pockets.Addie has her own ghosts, but when she meets Jack, she accepts him without any questions and he starts working at her Cafeteria.It's not long until feelings start to arise between them and when they take definite steps towards a future together, tragedy strikes again and Jack is accused for the same crime as before: raping a minor.Here you are: you've got a love story, a classical thriller with a supernatural tilt (Salem and witches rings a bell, doesn't it??) all in one book.So, you've got a decent plot, and the pages of the story flow fast and easy, the style is direct and simple and the characters are well constructed, with glimpses of John Grisham's and Nora Robert's style.I'd say the novel is perfect for a summer reading or for a lazy stormy Sunday evening, but don't expect a deeper glance into the subjects the author deals with, it's only entertainment, and nothing else. As long as you know that, sit down and enjoy, don't search for enlightenment, because you won't find it in this novel.**SPOILER***As for the final surprise, I regret to tell you that it's quite foreseeable, at least it was crystal clear to me!Pretty well written though, so worth reading it all the same!more
Salem Falls was a good read. I liked the way the writer implied a lot things but let the reader figure it or conclude on his own. The ending proves my point. It definitely explores how naive and dangerous a teenage girl can be. The ending couldn't have been any better.more
not Jodi's best but still a good book to curl up to with a nice tale of redemptionmore
Salem Falls by Jodi Picoult was a pleasure to read . Picoult talks about the rough times of a new comer to Salem who is accused of lying and rape . I would recommend this book to teens who have went through that stage where you know you haven't done something but no matter what you do everything in your power to prove your innocence just like our main character Jack St. Bridemore
Small town culture run amok. Convicted--but innocent-- of sexual abuse with a student, Jack Mcbride moves to a new community, where he falls in love with Addie, who has been grieving for her dead daughter for years. Meanwhile, a g roup of teenage girls has formed a coven, with a ringleader damaged by her own family tragedy who falls for the new guy in town. The outcome is predictable from the start, and is reminiscent of The Crucible and other tales of witchcraft and victimization. Some positive characters redeem the downward spiral, and Picoult has a way of making us care for her characters, but this novel isn't up to her others.more
Like all of Picoult's books, this one explores some difficult subject matter. In this case, rape, and secondarily, a mild degree of teenage witchcraft. While some of this novel was somewhat predictable, and many readers of Picoult tend to feel she follows a pattern in her books, I continue to enjoy each and every one. This one was no exception. I love the subject matter she chooses to explore & admire her for tackling controversial subjects.more
This book really shines in the descriptions of the lives of it's characters, but the plot seems to lack a bit. Picoult seems to excell at creating wonderful, three dimentional characters, but seems at a loss at what to do with them once she has their lives figured out. This is more or less a Lifetime movie in book format. Neither good nor bad, but not really memorable.more
I liked this book. I had my supspions about the ending from early on in the book but I was still a good read. Jodi Picoult has an excellent way of telling the story from different charachter points of view.more
Jodi Picoult is lauded as a writer who makes her readers really think about difficult issues. So I guess I was expecting something new while I was reading Salem Falls.In a nutshell, Salem Falls deals with the topics of rape and witchcraft.I wouldn't say that Picoult dealt with it in a horrible manner. I thought she was sensitive, and I thought that she did a pretty good job of showing multiple facets of rape.I also, however, thought her book was fairly predictable. The very end of the novel feels like it's supposed to be a twist, something the reader didn't see on a first reading. Well, I saw it, and I saw it within the first third of the novel, which is relatively early.I did like that the ending wasn't quite so black and white. I was kind of expecting that all of the bad guys were going to be outed, and that the good guy (there was really only one) was going to be exonerated, and if the book had ended that way, I would be decrying it as a piece of unrealistic tripe.I would say this book is O.K. Nothing amazing; nothing horrible. Unfortunately, nothing special.more
The absolute unfairness of life situations out of one's control is captured in this story by Picoult. I really disliked teenage girls for awhile after reading this book and as a Mom, it was hard to imagine what life would be like if you lost a child. I thought this Picoult book was pretty good.more
Not my favorite Jodi Picoult book, but I still enjoyed.more
PLUS –•Honestly? I can’t think of anything. I really didn’t like this book. I suppose it could have been an interesting topic to look at – justice, being wrongly accused. But…MINUS –•I didn’t like any of the characters. I didn’t empathise with any of them and rapidly found that I didn’t really care what happened to any of them, at which point I sent the book off to a charity shop!more
This is the first time I've read Jodi Picoult, and it won't be the last. I couldn't have picked a better one to start with. Once, begun, I had to finish it, the story gripped me from start to finish. The only slight drawbacks, were the flashbacks, which I felt slowed to story down, or kept you waiting in suspense, for the outcome. The courtoom scenes were interesting and insightful,more
Jodi Picoult's Salem Falls is a modern day re-telling loosely based on Arthur Miller's classic tale, The Crucible. After being released from a wrongful imprisonment for statutory rape, Jack St. Bride comes to Salem Falls in search of a new beginning. He finds a job at the local diner working for it's quirky owner Addie, but finds it difficult to gain the trust of the other small-town locals. He has to register with the local police department as a sex offender, and in no time, the entire town seems to know about his checkered, albeit undeserved past. When a naïve teenage girl is assaulted in Salem Falls, Jack quickly becomes the prime suspect. Salem Falls is my third Jodi Picoult book, having read both My Sister's Keeper and Plain Truth sometime in the last few years. I am familiar with Picoult's writing style, and so far, have enjoyed everything I've read from her. Salem Falls took a little longer to "hook" me than the others I've read, but once things started to snowball in Jack's new life, I had to see what would happen next.Picoult's writing is lyrical and the story captivated me, however, there was just something missing when it came to character development. I liked Addie and Jack's characters, but even they lacked a certain something that is difficult to define. The storyline about the girls practicing the Wican faith in Salem Falls was interesting, and were really some of the most engrossing parts of the book. That being said, Salem Falls is still a good read - it just didn't quite live up to the other Picoult books I've read. One thing that Picoult always does well is her endings, and this one is no different. It sneaks up on you out of nowhere - you'll never see it coming and it's one of the most fantastic things about reading a Picoult novel!As far as recommending Salem Falls to other readers, I would recommend you try another Picoult if it's your first foray into her world. However, if you are familiar with The Crucible you will enjoy tracing the parallels in Salem Falls. Overall I am glad I picked it up, and will definitely be reading more from Picoult in the future.more
Pulled this off my bookshelf for a quick review. This one reminds me of the movie, "The Shawshank Redemption." It focuses on a man who served prison time for a wrongful rape accusation, and his integration back into society. It gives you a new view of judgements & actions driven by fear. It also gives an often overlooked glimpse of the experiences of the accused's loved ones. I'd give this 4 out of 5 stars. A good read that revolves around controversial matters, which is a recurring theme in Jodi Picoult's novels.more
Salem Falls is another one of Jodi Picoult's page turners. Jack St. Bride comes into the town of Salem Falls after an 8 month prison sentence. By luck he finds a job at the Do-or-Diner and ends up falling for the store owner. He seems to slowly be piecing back together his life when 4 young girls who believe themselves to be witches find out his secret--and threaten to turn his life upside down. Jack's past catches up with him and the horrors of his past become public knowledge.Picoult has written another suspense that is well worth the read.more
A not very believable story and I found the portrayal of the wiccan religion rather unfair but it is an ok easy read.more
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