This story was riviting! Although I don't subscribe to Wiccan beliefs, this subplot added considerable depth and interest to the story. The trial captivated my interest, although the explanation of the DNA evidence was a bit too technical and confusing for the average reader to understand. I found the story hard to follow at times, especially in the beginning when I wasn't yet familiar with all the characters, because the scenes were very short and switched frequently between the parallel storylines. Rape was presented in a very sensitive manner from both the point of view of the victim and of the accused, and the two powerful themes of the story, that love can redeem a man and that lying has serious consequence, came through loud and clear. Kudos to the author for another wonderful story!
EXCELLENT READ AND HARD TO PUT DOWN!
Published by Thriftbooks.com User , 14 years ago
I really enjoyed this book the more I got into it, finding it hard to put down. Jack St. Bride just got released from prison, and with nowhere to go to, finally reaches the small town of Salem Falls where no one knows him. He finds the Do-Or Diner, where Addy has owned the restaurant for years. Jack immediately hits it off with Addie there, and feeling he needs a job not knowing his prior history, she hires him on as a busboy. It isn't long though until Jack has to report to the officer in the county there, and it is then his history comes out to the whole small town including Abby. Abby, having had experiences in the past, is suddenly wary, but then chooses to believe the best about Jack. The whole town goes crazy with stories though, and many want him out. When a teenager and her friends hear this, they want Jack out, planning a terrible act to ensnare him, and get him accused of rape once again. Well of course, this whole saga comes to a trial in the court, with all sides of the story. But as Jordan, the defense attorney uncovers more and more facts, he can see right through Gillian as a terrible liar, and realizes Jack's innocence. Matt, the prosecuting attorney of course, does whatever he can to throw Jack behind bars for good, but as the story unfolds here, a whole different story emerges and the truth does come out. Abby is deeply in love with Jack. She always was since first sight, and eventually the two may get together depending on the outcome of Jack's trial-which remains to be seen until you read the book.
Published by Thriftbooks.com User , 15 years ago
SALEM FALLS by Jodi PicoultJodi Picoult does it again with SALEM FALLS, a story about a man who is falsely accused of rape. Jack St. Bride was a teacher and soccer coach at a small town high school, when he is accused of rape and is sentenced to 8 months in prison. When he is released, he finds his way to another small town, Salem Falls, to start a new life, hoping that anonymity will give him the peace he is looking for.The wheels of fate start turning when he has to report in to the local police department and let them know he is a sex-offender. In this small town, gossip spreads fast, and soon the entire town learns who Jack really is. Only two people feel that he is innocent of the crime he was accused of back home: Addie Peabody, who owns the "Do-or-Diner" and her father, Roy Peabody. Both of them are dealing with losses that have greatly affected their current life, and in some way they can relate to Jack as he struggles to escape from his past.At the heart of this story is the theme of "the witch hunt", as the towns people watch Jack closely with condemning eyes as they wait for him to make his first mistake. He is then accused of yet another rape, this time accused by the only daughter of the richest man in Salem Falls. Jodi Picoult keeps the reader guessing, as even the reader isn't sure whether Jack is guilty or not. As with KEEPING FAITH and THE PACT, this book ends in the courtroom, and it is anyone's guess what the final verdict will be. This is yet another Jodi Picoult book that I enjoyed a lot. Although it took me a while to get into the story, as I had a hard time relating to the teens who practiced witchcraft, it all came together in the end. Highly recommended, I am giving this book five stars.
Another winner from Picoult
Published by Thriftbooks.com User , 16 years ago
This is the third Picoult novel I have read and I am hooked! Her books are engrossing and always make one ask hard questions.The story begins with Jack, a high school teacher, as he is falsely accused of having an affair with a student. On the advice of his lawyer, he plea bargains and does 8 months in jail for the offense. Throughout his incarceration his one ray of light is that he was innocent of the charge and vows to never put himself in a position to be vulnerable to another accusation.Unfortunately for Jack, he moves to Salem Falls, a town with a history of witchcraft and false accusations, and becomes the target of a teenage femme fatale bent on seducing him.The past has a way of repeating itself in Salem Falls and soon Jack stands accused of rape again. The brilliance of Picoult's writing is that one never knows whether to believe in the innocence of the accused character or not (the same theme is present in Plain Truth and The Pact). In fact, the final explanation in this book isn't totally revealed until, literally, the very last paragraph. One which will leave you gasping in disbelief. An Excellent Read!!!
A gripping, feverish read...
Published by Thriftbooks.com User , 16 years ago
I swear, Jodi Picoult is a magic story weaver! I am so impressed with this novel and the fact that it completely surpassed my expectations, especially after reading the stellar Plain Truth. Salem Falls is so juicy and exciting, an intoxicating cocktail of everything I love in a suspensful, page-turning drama. And even though I had a strong hunch about the book's ending, it was no less exhilarating to watch it unfold.Salem Falls tells the story of Jack St. Bride, a former teacher who, according to him, was wrongly accused of sexual assault against one of his students. After doing his time in jail, Jack heads out to start a new life and stumbles into the peaceful, sleepy town of Salem Falls. But it doesn't take long before his past catches up with him, and Jack finds himself fighting another battle for his life. And at its core is a quartet of girls, best friends who are part of a witches coven -- and one girl in particular who has the power to destroy Jack St. Bride.A perfect blend of magick, power, desire and betrayal, with an explosive courtroom drama of an ending, Salem Falls will have any reader glued to their seats, feverishly turning pages. I loved this book and look forward to reading the rest of Jodi Picoult's novels.
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