Friday, October 12, 2007

Salem Falls by Jodi Picoult

Published in 2001. 434 pages.

I started reading Salem Falls very late last Saturday night when I couldn't fall asleep. I sat down with it again on Sunday evening - and I had to keep reading until I finished!

First sentence: Several miles into his journey, Jack St. Bride decided to give up his former life.

Basic plot summary: Just released from prison after being wrongfully accused of the sexual assault of a teenage student, Jack St. Bride lands in the quiet town of Salem Falls, hoping to build a new life. Addie Peabody is struggling to rebuild her own life, following the death of her daughter. Together they face the ignorance and arrogance of those who live in a town where bad things just don't happen.

Literary connection: Picoult says she was looking to write an update to The Crucible, which I read in high school, "because so many of the themes in Arthur Miller's play are still so timely: the concept of a town excluding someone they don't believe to be fit; the way lies spread so much faster than truth."

Connection to other Picoult novels: Jordan McAfee, the attorney from The Pact, is back in action in Salem Falls. (He also plays a role in Nineteen Minutes, which occurs subsequent to Salem Falls, although I read it first.)

Contribution to the Reading the Author Challenge: This is the first of three Picoult novels I need to read for Reading the Author. It is the eighth of Picoult's books that I've read so far this year - so I definitely am "reading the author"! Luckily, I find her books to be compelling, so I'm sure I'll get at least two more read before the challenge ends.

Appropriateness for the R.I.P. II Challenge: This was not on my original R.I.P. list, but with a ghost and a coven of witches, I think it qualifies. I'm still going to try to read The Historian this month - and I've got to get a review of Gossamer posted - but I'm going to count this one for the challenge too. By the way, the book cover of the copy I picked up at the library (top left) helps create an atmosphere of creepiness better than other covers I've seen around the internet. Don't you agree?

Posted by Picasa



  1. I read this one a few years ago - I also find Picoult's books hard to put down!

    And I hope you have better luck with The Historian than I have. I'm about 2/3 through it and have been stalled there for about 6 months.

  2. I've never read any Jodi Picoult, I think I'll have to give her ago.

    I loved The Historian and read it really quickly.

  3. Great review. I need to give Picoult a try as well.

  4. Sounds good. I read one Picoult book, liked it, bookmooched more, but haven't gotten to them yet!

    Isn't it funny how you end up reading things you didn't pick for challenges but which fit? I also read a book that would fit the RIP challenge. I'll probably post the url of my review to the challenge blog, and I hope you post this one there, too!

  5. This does sound interesting. I haven't read any Picoult but think I might just have to try her this year! Looking forward to your other reviews. (But I think you might already qualify for finishing with 8 Picoult under your belt!)

  6. I have yet to read any of her books. This one definitely sounds like it would make a good start!

  7. I only started reading her since Sept. I have read three books. Two are in queue!