Jodi Picoult, the New York Times bestselling author of Vanishing Acts, offers her most powerful chronicle yet of an American family with a story that probes the unbreakable bond between parent and child -- and the dangerous repercussions of trying to play the hero.
Trixie Stone is fourteen years old and in love for the first time. She's also the light of her father's life - a straight-A student; a freshman in high school who is pretty and popular; a girl who's always looked up to Daniel Stone as a hero. Until, that is, her world is turned upside down with a single act of violence...and suddenly everything Trixie has believed about her family - and herself - seems to be a lie.
For fifteen years, Daniel Stone has been an even-tempered, mild-mannered man: a stay-at-home dad to Trixie and a husband who has put his own career as a comic book artist behind that of his wife, Laura, who teaches Dante's Inferno at a local college. But years ago, he was completely different: growing up as the only white boy in an Eskimo village, he was teased mercilessly for the color of his skin. He learned to fight back: stealing, drinking, robbing, and cheating his way out of the Alaskan bush. To become part of a family, he reinvented himself, channeling his rage onto the page and burying his past completely...until now. Could the young boy who once made Trixie's face fill with light when he came to the door have been the one to end her childhood forever? She says that he is, and that is all it takes to make Daniel, a man with a history he has hidden even from his family, venture to hell and back in order to protect his daughter.
The Tenth Circle looks at that delicate moment when a child learns that her parents don't know all of the answers and when being a good parent means letting go of your child. It asks whether you can reinvent yourself in the course of a lifetime or if your mistakes are carried forever -- if life is, as in any good comic book, a struggle to control good and evil, or if good and evil control you.
The Secret Message: Many people have written to us asking what the secret message is hidden in Jodi Picoult's The Tenth Circle. Here is the answer.
In her 13th book Picoult does what she does best - creates a fast-paced tale that explores a hot button issue. In this case teen sexual activity, and more specifically date rape; she also throws in some thought provoking explorations on whether it's ever possible to let go of past mistakes in order to reinvent oneself. In addition, she adds an extra twist by collaborating with comic book artist Dustin Weaver, who has created a graphic novel set within her text. (Reviewed by BookBrowse Review Team).
Orlando Sentinel - Kris Hey
As she is known for in her writing, Picoult skillfully twists and turns this story in so many ways, keeping readers wondering how things will turn out until nearly the last, satisfying page.
The Houston Chronicle - Christopher DeGasero
Novels and comic books exhibit many differences. But in Jodi Picoult's The Tenth Circle, the reader witnesses a marriage of the two — and it's a marriage made in heaven ...The Tenth Circle is strong enough as only a novel. But when coupled with its illustrated counterpart, it becomes a treat for both the mind and the eye.
The Washington Post
If Picoult had retained this tight focus on Trixie's experience, The Tenth Circle might have had the power of Alice Sebold's The Lovely Bones or Rosellen Brown's Before And After . Instead, the novel veers off into an increasingly implausible chain of events.
Picoult fumbles in this 13th novel of, predictably, a family in crisis ... As a third-act whodunit-the culprit is an easy guess-the story fails. Picoult, who is so often an inventive andcompelling storyteller, relies here on convention and sentimentality.
.... the drawings, though well-done, distract from the powerful picture she has drawn with words .... Picoult drives the story with the heavy-handed Dante metaphor - not the characters. Still, this story of a flawed family on the brink of destruction grips from start to finish.
Picoult doesn't guarantee a happy ending, but something here just missed its mark.
Booklist - Kristine Huntley
Picoult's sad, complex novel should appeal to the many readers who have enjoyed her previous works.
Recent Reader Reviews
Rated of 5
by Michelle Loved it. I actually loved this book. I love most of her other works, and I fell in love with the father, Daniel. How he seemed to be this monster, trapped inside himself, but hidden away to protect his family.
Rated of 5
by shawna not up to par I usually like her books. This one lost me halfway through. Trixie became less likeable, Laura more so and Daniel seemed to have lost and hidden his true self. I had lost interest when Trixie had run off and looked at the last chapter....very... Read More
Rated of 5
by Barbara Didn't finish the book I have read several other books by Jodi Picoult and was disappointed in The Tenth Circle. It just did not grip, and I didn't want to finish it so I didn't! Perhaps I'll read the last few pages!!
Rated of 5
by Kearstin Similarities The words in Jodi Picoult's book seemed to have jumped out at me, the realizations of the disconnection between children and their parents seemed to just draw me in like a bug to a light. The sexual conflict of a young girl being raped and not... Read More
Rated of 5
by Cassie The Tenth Circle It was a great read for me. Being a 17 year old, I know what it feels like to have peer pressure to look beautiful and to have my status based on that and the boy my arm is hooked with. It was also gripping for me to see the extent that a father... Read More
Rated of 5
by Emey Good It was a well written book, but not as good as her others.
And you got the hidden message wrong. It's actually: nothing is easier than self deceit for what each man wishes that he also believes to be true.
Jodi Picoult is the author of Songs of the Humpback Whale (1992),
Harvesting the Heart (1994), Picture Perfect (1995), Mercy (1996),
The Pact (1998); Keeping Faith (1999), Plain Truth (2000),
Falls (2001), Perfect Match (2002), Second Glance (2003), My Sister's Keeper
(2004), Vanishing Acts (2005), and The Tenth Circle (2006). In
2003 she was awarded the New England Bookseller Award for Fiction.
She was born and raised happilyon Long Island something that she believed
at first was a detriment to a girl who wanted to be a writer. "I had such an
uneventful childhood that when I was taking writing classes at college, I called
home and asked my mother if maybe there might have been a little incest or
domestic abuse on the side that she'd forgotten about," Picoult recalls. "It
took me a while to realize that I already did have something to write about
that solid core of family, and the knotty tangle of relationships,...
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