My rating: (4 / 5)
Some people have all the bad luck.
Jack seems to be one of them. Though he was born to wealth and priveledge, he was falsely accused of rape by one of his students when working as a high school teacher and soccer coach. On the advice of his lawyer, he took a plea bargain in the case, serving only eight months compared to the many years he would serve if convicted. But what he lost was formidable; his career, his best friend (the cop who arrested him), his mother (a woman’s advocate who would not abide someone who would hurt women in her family), his home, and even his pride, thanks to the tougher guys in prison with him. When he gets out of prison, he picks a small town at random to start over, and things begin to look up; he finds a job, and is taken by his beautiful boss, and even makes a friend in her father.
But once word gets around town about his past, a vindictive teenager decides to do the unthinkable, and once again, Jack finds himself falsely accused.
I like Picoult as an author, and there isn’t one of her books that I haven’t really liked. This was no exception. While I didn’t find it as absolutely riveting as some of her others, I was still drawn in and enveloped in the world she created. Like most of her books, this is very character driven, and her precisely drawn people of all sorts that populate the town will affect you; some will anger you, some make you sad, some make you reflect. The wonderful thing is, though, how very poignantly they make you feel for them, and that’s the real beauty of this piece.
That, and the fun of the courtroom drama. If Picoult ever decides to go law and order, Grisham better look out!