Author: Jodi Picoult
Published: July 2, 2002
Genre: contemporary fiction
Paperback: 369 pages
Source: borrowed from the library
My Rating: 3 stars
Synopsis (from GoodReads): To the outside world, they seem to have it all. Cassie Barrett, a renowned anthropologist, and Alex Rivers, one of Hollywood's hottest actors, met on the set of a motion picture in Africa. They shared childhood tales, toasted the future, and declared their love in a fairy-tale wedding. But when they return to California, something alters the picture of their perfect marriage. A frightening pattern is taking shape—a cycle of hurt, denial, and promises, thinly veiled by glamour. Torn between fear and something that resembles love, Cassie wrestles with questions she never dreamed she would face: How can she leave? Then again, how can she stay?
My Thoughts: For me, this was a bit of a departure from the other Jodi Picoult books that I've read. Instead of a big court case at the center of the drama, this novel focuses on the abusive relationship between Alex Rivers, a big Holywood star with a troubled past, and Cassie Barrett, an anthropologist who has taken care of people all her life. There is no court case, no big moment that the plot was building to. Instead, Picoult takes you into the world of an abusive relationship, and which also happens to involve one of the hottest Hollywood stars. This is a serious novel (all of her novels are serious, but this one seemed to be a bit darker than her other works). She doesn't sugar coat what is happening and, through Cassie, shows us how a woman in this situation thinks.
Cassie is an interesting character. She is flawed, but the more you learn about her and her background, the more you like her and root for her. You understand why she has made the choices that she has made and where those choices have taken her. Alex Rivers is also an interesting character. I do not believe that physical or emotional abuse is ever okay or acceptable, but you learn about Alex's past, you can see why he has turned out the way that he has. The way that he was treated by his father have shaped him into the person he is today. Then, there is Will Flying Horse. He was just too odd for me. I never really liked him, even as he was helping Cassie escape the abuse. I just thought he was too weird and didn't add anything to the story. This is a departure from Picoult's other novels, but just as good as her other works.