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Plain Truth: A Novel
 
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Plain Truth: A Novel [Format Kindle]

Jodi Picoult
4.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (3 commentaires client)

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Descriptions du produit

Extrait

Chapter One

She had often dreamed of her little sister floating dead beneath the surface of the ice, but tonight, for the first time, she envisioned Hannah clawing to get out. She could see Hannah's eyes, wide and milky; could feel Hannah's nails scraping. Then, with a start, she woke. It was not winter -- it was July. There was no ice beneath her palms, just the tangled sheets of her bed. But once again, there was someone on the other side, fighting to be free.

As the fist in her belly pulled tighter, she bit her bottom lip. Ignoring the pain that rippled and receded, she tiptoed barefoot into the night.

The barn cat yowled when she stepped inside. She was panting by now, her legs shaking like willow twigs. Lowering herself to the hay in the far corner of the calving pen, she drew up her knees. The swollen cows rolled their blue moon eyes in her direction, then turned away quickly, as if they knew better than to bear witness.

She concentrated on the hides of the Holsteins until their black spots shimmied and swam. She sank her teeth into the rolled hem of her nightgown. There was a funnel of pressure, as if she were being turned inside out; and she remembered how she and Hannah used to squeeze through the hole in the barbed wire fence by the creek's edge, pushing and angled, all knees and grunts and elbows, until by some miracle they'd tumble through.

It was over as suddenly as it had begun. And lying on the matted, stained hay between her legs was a baby.

* * *

Aaron Fisher rolled over beneath the bright quilt to stare at the clock beside the bed. There had been nothing, no sound to wake him, but after forty-five years of farming and milking, the smallest things could pull him out of sleep: a footfall in the corn, a change in the pattern of the wind, the rasp of a mother's tongue roughing a newborn calf.

He felt the mattress give as Sarah came up on an elbow behind him, the long braid of her hair curling over her shoulder like a seaman's rope. "Was ist letz?" What's the matter?

It was not the animals; there was a full month before the first cow was due to deliver. It was not a robber; there was too little noise. He felt his wife's arm slip around him, hugging his back to her front. "Nix," he murmured. Nothing. But he did not know if he was trying to convince Sarah, or himself.

She knew enough to cut the cord that spiraled purple to the baby's belly. Hands shaking, she managed to reach the old scissors that hung on a peg near the pen's door. They were rusty and coated with bits of hay. The cord severed in two thick snips, and then began spurting blood. Horrified, she pressed her fingers to the ends, pinching it shut, wildly looking around for something to tie it off.

She rummaged in the hay and came up with a small length of baling twine, which she quickly tied around the cord. The bleeding slowed, then stopped. Relieved, she sank back on her elbows -- and then the newborn started to cry.

She snatched the baby up and rocked it tightly. With her foot, she kicked at the hay, trying to cover the blood with a clean layer. The baby's mouth opened and closed on the cotton of her nightgown, rooting.

She knew what the baby wanted, needed, but she couldn't do it. It would make this real.

So she gave the baby her pinkie finger instead. She let the small, powerful jaws suckle, while she did what she had been taught to do in times of extreme stress; what she had been doing for months now. "Lord," she prayed, "please make this go away."

The rustle of chains awakened her. It was still dark out, but the dairy cows' internal schedule had them rising at their individual stalls, their bags hanging blue-veined and round with milk, like full moons caught between their legs. She was sore and tired, but knew she had to get out of the barn before the men arrived to do the milking. Glancing down, she realized that a miracle had come to pass: the blood-soaked hay was fresh now, except for a small stain beneath her own bottom. And the two things she'd been holding when she fell asleep -- the scissors and the newborn -- were gone.

She pulled herself to her feet and glanced toward the roof, awed and reverent. "Denke," she whispered, and then she ran out of the barn into the shadows.

Like all other sixteen-year-old Amish boys, Levi Esch no longer attended school. He'd gone through the eighth grade and was now in that limbo between being a child and being old enough to be baptized into the Amish faith. In the interim, he was a hired hand for Aaron Fisher, who no longer had a son to help him work his dairy farm. Levi had gotten the job through the recommendation of his older cousin Samuel, who'd been apprenticing with the Fishers now for five years. And since everyone knew that Samuel was probably going to marry the Fishers' daughter soon and set up his own farm, it meant Levi would be getting a promotion.

His workday started at 4:00 a.m., as on all other dairy farms. It was still pitch-dark, and Levi could not see Samuel's buggy approach, but he could hear the faint jingle of tack and traces. He grabbed his flat-brimmed straw hat and ran out the door, then jumped onto the seat beside Samuel.

"Hi," he said breathlessly.

Samuel nodded at him but didn't turn, didn't speak.

"What's the matter?" Levi teased. "Katie wouldn't kiss you good-bye last night?"

Samuel scowled and cuffed Levi, sending his hat spinning into the back of the buggy. "Why don't you just shut up?" The wind whispered at the ragged edge of the cornfield as they drove on in silence. After a while, Samuel pulled the buggy into the Fishers' front yard. Levi scuffed the toe of his boot into the soft earth and waited for Samuel to put the horse out to pasture before they headed into the barn.

The lights used for milking were powered by a generator, as were the vacuum pumps hooked up to the teats of the cows. Aaron Fisher knelt beside one of the herd, spraying the udders with iodine solution and then wiping them dry with a page ripped from an old phone book. "Samuel, Levi," he greeted.

He did not tell them what to do, because by now they already knew. Samuel maneuvered the wheelbarrow beneath a silo and began to mix the feed. Levi shoveled out the manure behind each cow, periodically looking at Samuel and wishing he was already the senior farmhand.

The barn door opened, and Aaron's father ambled in. Elam Fisher lived in the grossdawdi haus, a small apartment attached to the main building. Although Elam helped out with the milking, Levi knew the unwritten rules: make sure the old man carried nothing heavy; keep him from taxing himself; and make him believe that Aaron couldn't do without him, although Aaron could have, any day of the week. "Boys," Elam boomed, then stopped in his tracks, his nose wrinkled above his long, white beard. "Why, we've had a calf."

Puzzled, Aaron stood. "No. I checked the pen."

Elam shook his head. "There's the smell of it, all the same."

"More like it's Levi, needing a bath," Samuel joked, emptying a fresh scoop of feed in front of the first cow.

As Samuel passed him with the wheelbarrow, Levi came up swinging and slipped on a slick of manure. He landed on his bottom in the ditch built to catch the refuse and set his jaw at Samuel's burst of laughter.

"Come on now," Aaron chided, although a grin tugged at his mouth. "Samuel, leave him be. Levi, I think Sarah left your spare clothes in the tack room."

Levi scrambled to his feet, his cheeks burning. He walked past Aaron, past the chalkboard with the annotated statistics on the cows due to calve, and turned into the small cubby that housed the blankets and bridles used for the farm's workhorses and mules. Like the rest of the barn, it was neat as a pin. Braided leather reins crossed the wall like spiderwebs, and shelves were stacked with spare horseshoes and jars of liniment.

Levi glanced about but could see no clothing. Then he noticed something bright in the pile of horse blankets. Well, that would make sense. If Sarah Fisher had washed his things, they had probably been done with the other laundry. He lifted the heavy, striped blanket and recognized his spare trousers and jewel green shirt, rolled into a ball. Levi stepped forward, intending to shake it out, and found himself staring down into the tiny, still face of a newborn.

"Aaron!" Levi skidded to a stop, panting. "Aaron, you've got to come." He ran toward the tack room. Aaron exchanged a glance with his father, and they both started after the boy, with Samuel trailing.

Levi stood in front of a stool piled high with horse blankets, on top of which rested a sleeping baby wrapped in a boy's shirt. "I...I don't think it's breathing."

Aaron stepped closer. It had been a long time since he'd been around a baby this small. The soft skin of its face was cold. He knelt and tipped his head, hoping that its breath would fall into the cup of his ear. He flattened his hand against its chest.

Then he turned to Levi. "Run to the Schuylers and ask to borrow their phone," he said. "Call the police."

"Get out," Lizzie Munro said to the officer in charge. "I'm not going to check an unresponsive infant. Send an ambulance."

"They're already there. They want a detective."

Lizzie rolled her eyes. Every year that she'd been a detective-sergeant with the East Paradise Township police, the paramedics seemed to get younger. And more stupid. "It's a medical call, Frank."

"Well, something's out of kilter down there." The lieutenant handed her a slip of paper with an address on it.

"Fisher?" Lizzie read, frowning at the surname and the street. "They're Amish?"

"Think so."

Lizzie sighed and grabbed her big black purse and her badge. "You know this is a waste of time." In the past, Lizzie had occasionally dealt with Old Order Amish teenagers, who'd gather together in some guy's barn to drink and dance and generally disturb the peace. Once or twice she'd been called to take a stateme...

From Publishers Weekly

Though it begins as the quietly electrifying story of an unmarried Amish teenager who gives birth to a baby she is accused of then smothering, Picoult's latest (after Keeping Faith) settles into an ordinary trial epic, albeit one centered intriguingly on an Amish dairy farm near Lancaster, Pa. Katie Fisher, 18, denies not only having committed the murder but even having borne the baby, whose body is found in the Fishers' calving pen, and she sticks to her story, even when she is quizzed by Ellie Hathaway, the high-powered Philadelphia attorney who undertakes Katie's defense as a favor to Leda, an aunt she and the young woman share. Ellie, who has retreated to Leda's farm in Paradise to reconsider her life--she successfully defends guilty clients--embarks on the case reluctantly: at 39, she wants nothing more than to have a child. However, to meet bail stipulations, she volunteers as Katie's guardian (since Kate's strict parents reject her) and moves in with the Fishers. Living with the Amish necessitates some adjustments for both parties, but Katie and Ellie become fast friends in spite of their differences. Very little action occurs beyond the initial setup, though the questions remain: Who was the father of Katie's child? And did she smother the newborn? Told from both third-person omniscient and first-person (Ellie's) vantages, the story rolls leisurely through the trial preparations, the results of which are repeated, tediously, in the courtroom. Perhaps the story's quietude is appropriate, given its magnificently painted backdrop and distinctive characters, but one can't help wishing that the spark igniting the book's opening pages had built into a full-fledged blaze. (May)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 2528 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 432 pages
  • Pagination - ISBN de l'édition imprimée de référence : 0671776134
  • Editeur : Atria Books; Édition : Reissue (1 mai 2000)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B000FC0STQ
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
  • X-Ray :
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 4.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (3 commentaires client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°44.246 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)
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Commentaires en ligne 

4.0 étoiles sur 5
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Commentaires client les plus utiles
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Good summer read 2 décembre 2013
Par V. Lubin
Format:Poche|Achat vérifié
"Plain Truth" is a legal thriller and definitely a "page-turner" which also leads the reader to some intelligent reflection (on the Amish lifestyle and its place in America, on neonaticide and on inter-family relationships, as a few examples). While much of the story seemed very believable, other parts (most particularly the role of ghosts) seemed more contrived and detracted from the narrative as a whole. With its very believable characters and a fast-paced narrative, Plain Truth is worth a detour.
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5.0 étoiles sur 5 Amish world 29 avril 2013
Format:Poche|Achat vérifié
Livre passionant et intéressant sur les coutumes amish. Il faut peut-être connaître un peu la vie et l'origine de ces américains (USA)en dehors de la société
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4.0 étoiles sur 5 Divertissant 3 janvier 2013
Par CD
Format:Poche|Achat vérifié
C'est un roman policier : un crime a été commis dans une communauté Amish et la police mène l'enquête. Très instructif sur les coutumes et le mode de vie des Amish. Le suspense est préservé jusqu'au bout.
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.2 étoiles sur 5  819 commentaires
156 internautes sur 166 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A mesmerizing, addictive story... 17 janvier 2002
Par Dianna Setterfield - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
My very first novel by Jodi Picoult has lived up to all the hype I've been hearing about for so many months. I don't know what's taken me so long to finally read one! Having closed the last page in Plain Truth just a few moments ago, my mind is now reeling from all that I've read this past week. I have a feeling this story will be with me for quite awhile.
Plain Truth tells the story of an 18-year-old Amish girl, Katie Fisher, who secretly gives birth to a child out of wedlock. Mysteriously the baby disappears and a few hours later is found dead in the barn located on the Fisher farm. After an initial investigation, Katie is charged with murder and a Philadelphia attorney, Ellie Hathaway, is set to defend her case. Adding to the fascination of this particular murder trial is the fact that Katie Fisher is Amish, and the Amish convictions are very different from others in the English world. The fact that an Amishman, who by nature does not believe in confrontation and violence, would kill another is entirely unheard of.
Plain Truth is a very intricate and richly detailed tapestry of Amish life and a court case that shocked the small town of East Paradise Township. Each page turned revealed a little more of the mystery and added to the bewilderment and beauty of the story. There is much to be said about this novel because it is so much more than just what is written on the back of the book. It is truly a three dimensional piece of work that kept me in awe and rapt attention until the surprising (and completely unalluded to) ending. A novel of true page-turner status that will reveal bits and pieces, layer by layer, until the very end.
72 internautes sur 79 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
2.0 étoiles sur 5 Okay; but not great. 5 août 2006
Par C. R. Eads - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
After reading five of her novels, I have become a fan of Jodi Picoult. I will admit (and this probably proves that I am a sucker for marketing rather than letting the literature speak for itself) that I've deliberately read all of her best sellers before reading the books that didn't make it on the list.

Initially I liked the book and it kept me reading, though maybe just out of habit. I enjoyed reading about the Amish way of life and the Amish traditions - though it did make me think of that Harrison Ford movie, Witness (circa 1989 or something). I like that she used one first person voice as well as the third person narrative in a well crafted and varied way.
I like that her main character has a powerful job that challenges gender stereotypes by being the morally questionable lawyer. That being said, she doesn't explore this as well as she could. We sort of forget that Ellie has blatantly suppressed evidence and watched as little girls saw their rapist acquitted. Rape, she can defend, but infanticide creates some problems for the notorious defense attorney.

Something about the book bothered me. Maybe I am reading too many of her books too fast but I am seeing a formula here.
- Many of her plots include a court room drama.
- All of her plots feature romance or end with the obvious potential for one.
- Mothers and their powerful (all encompassing, self-sacrificing) love for their children are a theme in all of her books I've read.
- There is usually a "twist" at the end. She's becoming Koontz like in her formulaic predictability and I stopped reading his novels as a teenager.

Most of her books left me content, like I'd eaten a good, hearty meal. However, this book left me hungry and searching for critical reviews to see if others shared my dissatisfaction.

So:
- I was unimpressed with the "twist" at the end of this one - I knew "whodunit" about 1/2 of the way through. I was getting bored with that part of the story. The red herrings are too obvious and her suggestions that Katie didn't do it were there from the beginning. She should've stopped the heavy handed attempt to make us question that and just made it known through the 3 person narrative exactly who did the killing or hiding. Then she could have explored that character in depth instead of hiding her and others she wanted you to be suspicious about. Just because we, the readers knew, didn't mean that Ellie had to know - or anyone else for that matter.

- The characters in this novel were a tad generic. I am sorry, I like her, but they were boring.

For instance, I was bored with Ellie's dilemma over Coop - to the point where I often skipped the interaction they had when they discussed their potential future together. Duh, I knew they were going to get together after a little drama from Ellie through which Coop - being the quintessential "sensitive ponytail guy" - would wait, albeit in pain. It was just too predictable.

Hannah's ghost; she has a ghost hunter in a later novel and I was a disappointed to see another one. But other than that, Hannah's ghost seems a bizarre and meaningless addition. Is it to suggest that she, Katie, might be crazy and a murderer? Is it to explain why she was so drawn to Adam? Katie being the good Amish girl could only fall for someone who could share her secret ability to see her sister... In a book that is so Amishly pragmatic and logical in every other way makes it so the supernatural element clashes with the rest of the novel. Maybe Hannah's ghost killed Katie's baby or hid it.

I liked the details. The Amish and their daily lives, those who assimilate and those who don't, and how the religion and way of life affect one's thinking offers a neat, un-scholarly insight into a different culture. I liked the culture clashes and I wondered how they would be resolved. But what I did like, doesn't measure against my dissatisfaction.

My most recent book purchase included three works of fiction; two by Picoult and one by Atwood. I think I'll shelve the unread Picoult for a while. I'll have some time to forget her modus operandi. I'll read the Atwood and then I'll buy a book by a different author.
46 internautes sur 49 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 An interesting story from a great writer 30 août 2000
Par Maudeen Wachsmith - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
I first became a fan of Jodi Piccoult after reading her amazing story, PICTURE PERFECT. With PLAIN TRUTH she joins the ranks of those on my "automatic buy" list. She is a talented, versatile writer and I hope to read her other books soon. PLAIN TRUTH is set in one of my favorite places, Pennsylvania's Lancaster county. Ms. Piccoult has detailed Amish life with great accuracy - something not all authors do this well, either depicting Amish stereotypes or giving the reader so much information it's like reading a textbook. The Amish characters are realistically portrayed, evoking both sympathy and envy for their way of life. PLAIN TRUTH has mystery, a wonderful romance between big-city attorney Ellie who moves in with the Fisher family to keep young Katie from having to go to jail and the former college beau who is now a psychiatrist hired to help her understand 18-year-old Amish woman, Katie Fisher, accused of giving birth to a baby and then murdering it. Complete with a surprise ending, this book is a compelling read which readers will find difficult to put down once started. Another winner from Jodi Piccoult!
17 internautes sur 17 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Another great book from Ms. Picoult 19 mai 2000
Par Nancy R. Katz - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
In her previous book, The Pact, Ms. Picoult writes about a suicide pact between two teenagers. When the boyfriend doesn't die, the book probes not only the previous relationship between this young man and his girlfriend but their parents' reactions as well as the legal ramifications concerning the one who survived.
In her newest book, Plain Truth, Ms. Picoult enters the world of the Amish sect who still today live by priciples contary to the 21st century. And again as in The Pact, when a young unmarried woman, Katie Fisher, is accused of murdering a newborn which she has presumably given birth to, the law steps in and these events tear apart a family and community steeped in the Amish traditions and mores. For Ellie Hathaway, an urban sophisticated lawyer somewhat related to this community and the other major character in thsi book, defending this client provides her not only with a world filled with "plain" truths and different rules, but also a glimpse into the failures of her own life.
Jodi Picoult has written another fascinating book. One which can takes its place amongst many of her other books such as Keeping Faith, The Pact and Harvesting the Heart. Her characters in Plain Truth, as always, are well pprtrayed and stay with the reader long after they close the book. Also, it is apprent that Ms.Picoult did a great deal of research as well as live amongst the Amish to learn more about the ways of the plain.
Finally, the author sheds new light on events often in the news today along with presenting a lifestyle which I as the reader knew very little about before reading this book.
Bravo for a first rate novel, Jodi.
30 internautes sur 33 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 This book is a treat! 17 juin 2000
Par "sajey" - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
Jodi Picoult's "Plain Truth" is a gem of a story. I had a great sense of enjoyment as I read it. Her characters seem real and believable and the plot is well crafted. Katie and Ellie, as well as all the other characters, were likable, and acted like we might all act under the circumstances. The relationship between Katie and Samuel was sweet and touching. Underneath it all runs the thread of a tragedy that has affected the entire Fisher family. There could not have been a better ending...grounded in reality instead of implausible heroics. I enjoyed the setting amid the Amish culture. Ms. Picoult obviously researched her topic thoroughly, to be able to give her readers such a detailed view of their world. I look forward to reading other books by the author. I am starting "Harvesting the Heart" very soon!
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