August 18, 2015

The Pact by Jodi Picoult

Title:  The Pact
Author:  Jodi Picoult
Pages:  406
Genre:  Fiction
Publisher:  Harper Perennial, 2006

Synopsis:  From Jodi Picoult, one of the most powerful writers in contemporary fiction, comes a riveting, timely, heartbreaking, and terrifying novel of families in anguish -- and friendships ripped apart by inconceivable violence. Until the phone calls came at 3:00 A.M. on a November morning, the Golds and their neighbors, the Hartes, had been inseparable. It was no surprise to anyone when their teenage children, Chris and Emily, began showing signs that their relationship was moving beyond that of lifelong friends. But now seventeen-year-old Emily has been shot to death by her beloved and devoted Chris as part of an apparent suicide pact -- leaving two devastated families stranded in the dark and dense predawn, desperate for answers about an unthinkable act and the children they never really knew.

Review:  This book was uncomfortable.  While it was also tragic and funny and hopeful, it was mostly uncomfortable for me.  I found it hard to believe that a teenage girl with a loving family would be suicidal over what seemed like small issues.  After thinking about it, I realized that other people's problems rarely seem as important as our own.  A man in a restaurant restroom did a horrible thing to Emily when she was young.  Her boyfriend feels more like her brother.  She is genuinely disgusted with herself and her life.  It is a sad state of affairs that ends with her death.

Ms. Picoult has been my go-to author for contemporary fiction for years.  When I need a break from my usual fare, she never fails to enthrall and amuse me all while making me think about subjects most of us would rather not think about.

I've loved some of her other stories better, but I still couldn't put this one down not until the bitter, yet hopeful, end.

Rating:  8 / 10

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