Published in 1998. 389 pages.
I read My Sister's Keeper a few months ago and wanted to read more of Jodi Picoult's novels. Several people recommended this one, and I finally got to it. (I've been down with the stomach flu this week, and the upside was that after the first 18 hours or so, I felt well enough to read!)
The Pact was a difficult book to read. Especially as the mother of a teenage daughter with perfectionism issues, I found much of it heart-wrenching. I'm glad I read it though, and I definitely want to keep reading Picoult.
At the back of the copy of The Pact that I borrowed from the library is an article Picoult wrote in 2005 in response to a challenge that this book is inappropriate for a high school curriculum. She says:
While I can appreciate a good beach read as well as the next person, I also think there is a place in modern fiction for the sort of book that exercises one's moral compass and asks questions that cannot - and maybe should not - be answered. For the record, I'm not the first commercial fiction writer to try to address social issues through the vehicle of fiction: Charles Dickens was a master of the technique. He realized that most people shy away from difficult issues, which is why nonfiction about these topics rarely attracts an audience. However, write a book with compelling characters and a driving plot, and readers won't notice that a serious moral or ethical issue is being served up, too. They are swept along for the ride and wind up examining big questions almost by accident.
This type of book is definitely one I enjoy. I look forward to reading many more of Picoult's books. (By the way, Chris Bohjalian is another favorite author in this genre.)