Instead of spending last night ringing my hands and swearing at the television over election results, I decided to get into my comfy yoga pants, make my way to the basement den, light a fire (well, flip the switch on the gas fireplace) and curl up with Jodi Picoult’s novel “Plain Truth.” Being a huge Picoult fan, I bought this paperback eons ago, but let it sit unattended in my nightstand. I thought last night was as good a time as any to immerse myself in a good story and leave the rest of the craziness on the back burner.
I will be honest with you, this is an intensely emotional, sad, and gut wrenching tale, but an excellent read none-the-less. The story begins at dawn with the discovery of a dead infant hidden in the barn of an Amish farm in Paradise, Pennsylvania. Authorities are immediately called to the scene and it doesn’t take long for the police to suspect the farmer’s daughter, eighteen year old Katie Fisher of giving birth to the child and being responsible for its death. When Katie is charged with the infant’s murder, Ellie Hathaway, a high powered lawyer agrees to defend Katie. However, the challenges Ellie faces trying to aggressively defend a girl whose culture vastly contrasts with her own, makes the task that much more difficult. The sensational trial is an intrusion into Amish life and goes against what the Amish call the plain way, a way of life that avoids attention to oneself and the practice of humility.
Picoult does a masterful job of weaving together the fabrics of the Amish community. She creates a vivid picture of their world, a world of God, earth, order, discipline, hard work and conformity. But it also reflects a community of people who intensely love, forgive, and support one another. When you reach the end, you might be emotionally exhausted, but you will have felt the immense power of love and friendship.
I recommend you add “Plain Truth” to your reading list.