The Tenth Circle by Jodi Picoult

tenth-circleFiction — print. Washington Square Press, 2006. 416 pgs. Purchased.

Fourteen-year-old Trixie Stone is in love for the first time. She’s also the light of her father, Daniel’s life — a straight-A student; a pretty, popular freshman in high school; a girl who’s always seen her father as a hero. That is, until her world is turned upside down with a single act of violence. Suddenly everything Trixie has believed about her family — and herself — seems to be a lie.

Could the boyfriend who once made Trixie wild with happiness have been the one to end her childhood forever? She says that he is, and that is all it takes to make Daniel, a seemingly mild-mannered comic book artist with a secret tumultuous past he has hidden even from his family, venture to hell and back to protect his daughter.

I have often been told  friends and family that this is their least favorite book by Picoult. I’ve always found that surprising because while it is not her best book, it probably deals with some of the most controversial and emotional issues. When a girl says she has been raped, whom do you believe? I, personally, will always believe the woman in question. But I have also seen accusations tear apart schools and communities so this book hits home for me.

Picking up this book again was interesting considering how much I had forgotten Alaska features in this book. I’ve spent the last ten weeks working with physical data and characteristics of Native Alaskan villages so it was interesting reading about Akiak, Alaska and the experiences Daniel had as the only white child in a predominantly Yup’ik community.

The best part of this book is still the comic book art. It certainly adds something new and different to the typical Picoult fare. I had never noticed the hidden message in the artwork before and after figuring it out, I now have more to mull over after turning the last page.

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