She had loved him. He knew this; he had never doubted it. But she had also asked him to kill her.
It’s bad enough when one person attempts suicide; what if it’s two? And what happens when one of them is left behind, charged with the murder of the other?
These are all difficult questions, but then again anything to do with death is usually difficult. Sometimes, in Hydra-like fashion each question we ask just seems to bring up others, and that’s what Jodi Picoult’s The Pact did for me.
I’ve always admired Jodi Picoult’s writing style: the multiple perspectives, the humanity of her characters, her fearless forays into the deepest and sometimes almost taboo subjects, her factual yet pervasively emotive depiction of scenes, and the thrill of the legality she brings to the table. This may not have been the first Picoult book I’ve picked up, but it’s definitely the one that stands out for me.
With poignant irony ringing through its every page, this is by no means another tale of Romeo and Juliet, for it was written in antithesis to that. In this story, the two families involved are as close as can be, and everything seems so perfect. But then we learn this is not really the case: things have not been right for a long time.We start to question if there is perfection in the imperfect, and if there can still be love after wrongdoing, or if love means ignoring right and wrong in fulfilling the wishes of the ones we care about most. What is right, then, and what is wrong? And can something so awfully wrong be right?
There is both deep pain and sorrow in these pages, and yet there is also joy and tender love; it is both heart-wrenching and heartwarming. Picoult doesn’t just give you a good story; she intertwines the simple and the difficult, and gives life to the story. You might find yourself identifying with a particular character, or maybe glimpse bits of yourself in several. I know I do. It’s what I love about this book.
“What could it be like to find out, in a matter of minutes, that the person you believed the sun rose and set on was not the person you’d thought?” As you read, many more similar questions will pop up. I leave you to ponder them for yourselves.
Contributed by Nicole M. Ang, Catholic Junior College