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Perfect Matchby Jodi Picoult
Synopses & Reviews
A searing novel of the terrifying power of love from one of America's leading novelists. Nina has a perfect, well, close to perfect life. She's a successful district attorney with a handsome husband named Caleb, who has a thriving contracting business of his own. They live in a picturesque little town in Maine, and they have an adorable little 5-year-old boy named Nathaniel. They both work too hard and sometimes Nina wonders if she's juggling too many balls, but Nathaniel makes it all worthwhile. Then one day he simply stops talking. It's obvious that he's been traumatised, but in what way and by whom? When Nina finds out that the abuse has been sexual (her speciality as a district attorney is in rape and sex abuse cases) she won't rest until they find out who did it. When the police finally come through, she naturally attends the arraignment of the accused. Then, in front of all assembled, she shoots him dead. This is a novel about the unbreakable bond between mother and child, about a woman who takes justice into her own hands only to discover how very dangerous playing God can be and about the destructive, redemptive, terrifying power of love.
Attorney D.A. Nina Frost sees a parent's worst nightmare firsthand — she prosecutes child molesters, and she's seen one too many walk free. But when her own five-year-old son becomes a victim, with the traumatic abuse leaving him mute, Nina is determined to do whatever it takes to find the assailant — no matter the consequence, whatever the sacrifice.
Picoult brings to life a female prosecutor whose cherished family is shattered when she learns that her five-year-old son has been sexually abused.
What does it mean to be a good mother?
How far would you go in the name of love — and justice?
In the course of her everyday work, career-driven assistant district attorney Nina Frost prosecutes child molesters and works determinedly to ensure that a legal system with too many loopholes keeps these criminals behind bars. But when her own five-year-old son, Nathaniel, is traumatized by a sexual assault, Nina and her husband, Caleb, a quiet and methodical stone mason, are shattered, ripped apart by an enraging sense of helplessness in the face of a futile justice system that Nina knows all too well. In a heartbeat, Nina's absolute truths and convictions are turned upside down, and she hurtles toward a plan to exact her own justice for her son — no matter the consequence, whatever the sacrifice.
About the Author
Jodi Picoult is the 2003 New England Book Award Winner for Fiction, honoring her for her body of work.
Picoult was born and raised — happily — on Long Island. "I had such an uneventful childhood that much later, when I was taking writing classes at college, I called home and yelled at my mother, wishing for a little incest or abuse on the side," recalls Picoult. "Good writers, I thought at the time, had to have something to write about. It took me a while to realize that I already did have something to write about — that solid core of family, and of relationships, which seem to form a connective thread through my books."
Her novels, which all center on what it means to love someone, have come out in rapid-fire succession: Songs of the Humpback Whale (1992), which Picoult wrote when she was six months pregnant with her first child; Harvesting the Heart (1994), which she describes as a reflection of her feelings as a new mother — and her most emotionally autobiographical novel; Picture Perfect (1995); Mercy (1996), a novel about married love and if it's really 50/50 (Picoult says she and husband Tim are still debating this); The Pact (1998); Keeping Faith (1999); Plain Truth (2000); Salem Falls (2001); Perfect Match; and Second Glance 2003 .
Picoult says she really learned to write at Princeton, where she studied creative writing with Mary Morris, who urged her to submit a story to Seventeeen magazine. Picoult was stunned when they published it and a second story a bit later. "That's when I thought I could be a writer," says Picoult.
However, when she graduated from Princeton, she headed not for the word processor, but for Wall Street, and followed that with stints at a textbook publishing company and an ad agency. She also taught creative writing part-time at a high school, got her master's degree in education at Harvard, and married Tim, whom she'd known at Princeton. Soon she was pregnant and had written a thousand page manuscript, which became Songs of the Humpback Whale.
It took a while, but Picoult says she has reconciled writing and motherhood. "I'm a better mother because I have my writing and I'm a better writer because of the experiences of motherhood that have shaped me." At this point, Picoult sees her list of novels growing, but not her family.
"There's nothing more interesting than crawling into a character's head — a head I created, that nonetheless seems to have a mind all its own."
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