Micha itibaren Krasylivka, Kyivs'ka oblast, Ukrayna
This is another book from Jodi Picoult that tackles a tough subject – the cycle of domestic violence. I think that Picoult did a decent job of showing the sides of both the perpetrator of the abuse as well as victim. Many authors would fall into the trend of just looking at it from the victim’s perspective (this is not to say that she in any way indicates that the abuse is right – just gives you a view from both sides of the issue). I think that this is important because it gives you a well-rounded picture. It also allows you to see why people may stay in relationships like this and how they can appear so normal to the rest of the world. Picoult also juxtaposes the two worlds of Hollywood and the Native American reservation of Pine Ridge in South Dakota. These worlds show how very different perspectives can be. It was refreshing after seeing the very materialistic world of Hollywood to spend a little time with a very old culture. It was also interesting from the main character’s perspective because she is an anthropologist who studies cultures – so that gave the reader a different window to see things through. I also enjoyed the mythical tales of the Sioux and hearing about some of their traditions. Based on my experience with previous books by Picoult – I expected more of a “bang” at the ending. This one I sort of saw coming for the last quarter of the book. I thought that it was a very fitting ending – but I was expecting something more shocking. I had one qualm with this novel and it was with the audiobook production. I haven’t actually seen the paperback copy – but I would assume that within each chapter there are section breaks between different aspects of the story that let the reader know that something different is happening. This wasn’t hinted in the narrated version. One section would just flow right into the next and a lot of time I had difficulty dissecting where we were in the story. I am chalking this up to bad production – but I will have to look up this book next time I’m in the bookstore and see if I am justified in this above issue. Maybe it was justified. 4 out of 5 stars for the story. 3.5 out of 5 stars for the audio.