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The Tenth Circle
By Jodi Picoult

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The Tenth Circle

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The Tenth Circle
By Jodi Picoult
Thorndike Press - Large Print Edition (2006)
ISBN: 0-7862-8834-5
Genre: Fiction, Chick-Lit

Reviewed by Angela Evans - November 10, 2006

The Tenth Circle is another outstanding novel by Jodi Picoult. In this chilling story she explores the hidden secrets of a family from Maine, exposing all their demons and illustrating how these demons affect every aspect of their lives - wether they are aware of it or not. The head of this sturdy family is Daniel Stone, an artist. Although observant and talented when it comes to his craft, he is not the best skilled as a father.

At the heart of this story is fourteen-year-old Trixie, who resorts to self-mutilation after her boyfriend breaks up with her. Despite the graphic nature of her pain, no one seems to notice it! However, both of her parents are forced to come to terms with Trixie's pain after she claims that she's been raped by her former boyfriend. The rape brings to the forefront a host of family demons, including the fact that her college professor mother, Laura, is having an affair with one of her students. To complicate matters, many of her father's long hidden demons also begin to come to the surface. How Laura and Daniel come to terms with their own demons, and their own relationship, will have a tremendous impact on how Trixie deals with her rape and her self-esteem issues. On outcome of this trauma is that Trixie runs away, and right into some of her father's own demons, which are to be found in his boyhood home in Alaska.

The Tenth Circle is a bit allegorical, and I had a blast going through the book trying to pick out all of the symbolisms that Picoult sprinkled throughout the story. However, at its heart, this is a story about family, love, and how one's own self-destructive behavior can impinge on those around you. This is a wonderful story, dramatic and passionate! The characters are very real, and their emotions take on a palpable feeling. You ache for Trixie, and you want to shake her parents, to make them see what is going on. More important, you have to wonder, why are they letting a fourteen-year-old date seriously, let alone attend parties where the kids play stip poker and drink to the point of passing out (it is after one of these parties that the rape occurs.) I'll not say anything about the outcome of this story, other than to say that you'll love it! A must read for all of Picoult's fans.

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