When Jack St. Bride arrives by chance in the sleepy New England town of Salem Falls, he decides to reinvent himself. Tall, blond, and handsome, Jack was once a beloved teacher and soccer coach at a girls' prep school -- until a student's crush sparked a powder keg of accusation and robbed him of his reputation. Now, working for minimum wage washing dishes for Addie Peabody at the Do-Or-Diner, Jack buries his past, content to become the mysterious stranger who has appeared out of the blue.
With ghosts of her own haunting her, Addie Peabody is as cautious around men as Jack St. Bride is around women. But as this unassuming stranger steps smoothly into the diner's daily routine, she finds him fitting just as comfortably inside her heart -- and slowly, a gentle, healing love takes hold between them.
Yet planting roots in Salem Falls may prove fateful for Jack. Amid the white-painted centuries-old churches, a quartet of bored, privileged teenage girls have formed a coven that is crossing the line between amusement and malicious intent. Quick to notice the attractive new employee at Addie's diner, the girls turn Jack's world upside down with a shattering allegation that causes history to repeat itself -- and forces Jack to proclaim his innocence once again. Suddenly nothing in Salem Falls is as it seems: a safe haven turns dangerous, an innocent girl meets evil face-to-face, a dishwasher with a Ph.D. is revealed to be an ex-con. As Jack's hidden past catches up with him, the seams of this tiny town begin to tear, and the emerging truth becomes a slippery concept written in shades of gray. Now Addie, desperate for answers, must look into her heart -- and into Jack's lies and shadowy secrets -- for evidence that will condemn or redeem the man she has come to love.
The Boston Globe
A multifaceted drama of a modern-day witch hunt that spirals to an edge-of-the-seat courtroom trial, Salem Falls is a stunning illumination by a writer gifted with a firm grasp of the delicacy and complexity of human relationships.
Picoult's depiction of the legal process is excellent, especially her intriguing and thorough explanation of DNA evidence, and the narrative is impressively complicated,with a couple of eye-opening surprises. A few of the resolutions, however, seem contrived, and when the language turns lyrical or metaphorical, it falls flat.
Picoult tastefully tackled touchy subject matter in Plain Truth, but she tips toward sensationalism here. That may gain her readers in the short run, but could undermine her reputation over time.
Recent Reader Reviews
Rated of 5
by I am Sparta Great This was my first Picoult book, but i have to admit it was great. Mysterious, sexy and fun. 10 out of 5
Rated of 5
by Ellen Unbelievable Story I am a true fan of Jodi Picoult and once again she writes an incredible tale. The way that Addie moves throughout the story, searching for answers to her own life is amazing. The father/daughter storylines were truly genuine and I am always amazed... Read More
Rated of 5
by kimberly Love can destroy a man I loved this book! The lust that Gillian had for Jack, and her determination to destroy him was constant! Although, Jack wasn't going to have his life get thrown away without a fight. I recommend this book to everyone!
Rated of 5
by Catherine Sadly disappointing Again, Jodi Picoult has dragged me through what could have been a very good book only to disappoint again in the last few chapters. What could have been a cliff-hanger of a book ended up resolving every tiny detail...I would not recommend this... Read More
Rated of 5
by Brenda Another good one This is another great book from Jodi. She made me feel sorry for both parties in this book. It seems love is a key factor in this book. It made me just want to cuddle up with my boyfriend and not let go. She showed me that to love someone you... Read More
Rebecca, a fifty-three-year-old grandmother, is caught unawares by the question of who she really is. How she answers it--how she tries to recover her girlhood self, that dignified grownup she had once been--is the story told in this beguiling, funny, and deeply moving novel.
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