Happy Mother’s Day to all you mothers out there! To celebrate the holiday, I spent the day winetasting with my boyfriend and his parents. It was beautiful up in Amador County today and I discovered a lot of great new wineries. And the best part? I finished my latest book on the drive up and in between wineries, which means I get to start on some new books this week on the commute to my new job! Lots of changes this week so I don’t know how much time I’ll have to blog (or to run), but I’m going to try to keep it up.

Just in case though, I thought I’d include a review of my most recent book in today’s Sunday Salon (my first!). Originally I’d planned to do a review every Monday, but I’ve been reading books faster than I’d planned and as it turns out I have more time on Sundays. Who knew?

OK, OK, on to the review: Today I finished my second Jodi Picoult book, Plain Truth. The book is about an Amish teenager who has a baby out of wedlock and is accused of murder when the baby is found dead near the barn where it was birthed. The teenager, Katie, is represented in court by her non-Amish cousin Ellie who happened to be visiting their ex-Amish aunt at the time of the birth. Ellie had just finished a high-profile case and had been trying to get away from a bad relationship and rethink her life while staying at her aunt’s house. Instead she found herself thrown right back into work, only this time it required her to stay on an Amish farm, where she was ordered by the judge to babysit her client.

A lot of people take issue with Picoult’s writing because she uses similar visual images in all of her books (curling up in the shape of a comma, etc.), but I honestly wouldn’t have noticed it if nobody had ever pointed it out to me. (So sorry to now be the one to have pointed it out to you!) Personally, I really enjoyed both of the books I’ve read by Picoult (My Sister’s Keeper and now this one). She picks incredibly interesting plots on current issues and she always includes turns that make her work unique.

As for Plain Truth, it is the first book I’ve ever read about the Amish and I was glad she included a ton of background on them (background gleaned from her own experience living with an Amish family as part of her research for the book). I find the Amish way to be incredibly interesting, although until now I had remained extremely ignorant about why and how they live the way they do. This book helped me to understand them a little bit better. I also enjoyed watching the relationship grow between the two cousins, who were unknown to each other before the trial. The ending didn’t catch me off guard as much as in My Sister’s Keeper. I kind of knew what was coming from the hints earlier in the book, and also because I’m sort of a law media junky (I have been known to watch reruns of Law & Order and CSI for six hours straight). Overall this was a great read and very quick, which I love.

If you enjoy books about law, I think you’d enjoy Picoult’s books. Sometimes I think of her as the female John Grisham, even though I know that their writing styles are very different. Grisham tends to be more of a thriller law writer, while Picoult’s are more about the characters and their underlying reasons for going to court. When I was younger John Grisham was my second author love (Roald Dahl was my first), and I devoured everything he wrote. I think Jodi Picoult will probably take his place for me, as I now have three of her books on hold at the library. What can I say? Once I like a writer, I feel like I have to read their entire body of work. So I guess I’ll be alternating between Margaret Atwood and Jodi Picoult for the next few years. At least I finally have some favorite female authors.

This book has also been reviewed by:
Trish at Trish’s Reading Room

As for other reading, today I started Dematerializing: Taming the Power of Possessions just to break away from all of this fiction I’ve been reading lately. I’ve also been reading High Infatuation by Steph Davis and, of course, our book club selection, Year of Wonders. What are you reading this week?