Picture Perfect by Jodi Picoult
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I have only read a few Jodi Picoult books but they never cease to please me. This was a thrift store score that I hadn't heard of and didn't know what it was about, and it did a great job keeping me guessing.
The story centers on Cassie and Alex, an intelligent but naive anthropology professor and a Hollywood star, and their "fairy tale" love and marriage. They seem perfect and say they are "made for each other" but in reality have a troubled and abusive relationship that no one would believe if they actually did tell anyone, without actually seeing the proof.
Through the storytelling, you feel as though it's autobiographical, as it seems so knowing and insightful that you wonder how anyone could make this up. I also found myself cheering for Cassie and Alex to make it, despite him being abusive. You get to know the good in him, the damaged childhood that he truly seems like he wants to overcome, that he truly does love her, and you want to say "give him one more chance, maybe he really won't do it again..." when you know logically that you should be telling her to run for it. Picoult's imagination and formidable skills at weaving an amazing story make you feel as though if, having never been in an abusive relationship, you are given a while new insight and appreciation for the situation, and why even the strongest of woman have had difficulty leaving such situations. It is an eerie feeling - there were so many times that this novel made me incredibly uncomfortable admitting what I was feeling about what was going on but never able to stop reading. I have never hesitated for a moment to help a friend get away from an abusive situation, but also never had nearly so clear and idea of how they may have felt as I do after reading this novel. Once again, Picoult asounded, intrigued and educated me.
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