Perfect Match

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Perfect Match By Jodi PicoultPerfect Match’ was the first book I read by Jodi Picoult and I chose it as a result of reading lots of positive reviews about her books. I was not disappointed!

Perfect Match‘ tells the story of Nina Frost and what happens to her when she discovers that someone has harmed her son in the worst possible way. The story follows her discovery of the truth, her immediate actions and the enormous consequences which affect not only Nina but her family as well. To outline the plot in some detail, but not to give too much away would be to say that this story takes place in Maine, USA, where Nina Frost is a very successful prosecuting attorney. She is married to Caleb, a man who builds walls and paths, and they have one son, Nathaniel.

One morning, Nathaniel suddenly becomes mute. The parents take him to a psychiatrist where it becomes apparent that he has been interfered with. As Nathaniel cannot speak, the doctor helps him to sign which seems to give him the means to identify the offender. Nina, obviously distraught at what has happened goes all out to protect her son from having to endure any more suffering. Unfortunately, as she is so involved with the legal system, she has many firsthand experiences of how having to testify in court can be so traumatic for children. And she does not trust the legal system enough to be sure of the right result. Therefore, she takes the only course that she believes open to her, and takes matters into her own hands.

I won’t say any more about the plot, but there are many twists and turns along the way, and just as you think you can see where the story is leading, there is a twist that takes you in another direction. This is true right up to the last pages, where even then there is a final and unexpected twist.

I think that the fascinating thing about this book is the questions that it makes you ask of yourself. I would have to say that at times it is not easy reading, although thankfully Jodi Picoult does not find it necessary to go into graphic details of the actual offence. You do find yourself questioning – what if it were my child? What would I do? I don’t think there are any easy answers. The book does demonstrate how easy it is to convince yourself that you are doing the right thing for the right reasons. However, when you see it from another person’s perspective, such as Caleb’s, it is certainly not the right thing and the reasons are all wrong!

It is also quite harrowing to see the effect of Nina’s actions on Nathaniel. In her bid to prevent any further suffering for him, she actually causes him to become more disturbed, particularly, when he sees her taken away from him.

I think that the characterisation in this novel is extremely good, although it is written in an unusual way. Jodi Picoult chooses to write different sections from different points of view. It is primarily Nina’s point of view and on these occasions it is written in the first person. At other times the viewpoint is Caleb’s, Nathaniel’s and sometimes Nina’s friend Patrick’s. These are written in the third person and this does seem a bit confusing at first but you do soon get used to this style. I think that all the characters are quite sympathetic and you do find yourself caring about what happens to them.

It did take me a while to get into this book (although I think that is more to do with having two small children and not enough time to read!). However, once I had reached the halfway point I found it quite ‘unputdownable’ and the book certainly picked up momentum towards the end. I think I read the last seventy pages in one go!

My overall impression is that it is a really well written novel which handles some quite difficult issues. At times it is quite difficult and certainly not a light read. If you are a parent, I feel that you would identify with Nina and pretty much go through her anguish with her.

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Perfect Match
by Jodi Picoult

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Written by kingfisher

My name is Jo and I have been married to Simon for nine years. We have two beautiful daughters – Rachel who is six and Natalie who is almost five and starting school in January. I also have two step children aged twenty one and seventeen so family life is never dull. I also manage to work three days for a local education authority where I support the teaching of literacy in primary schools. I love my job and it’s ideal for a book lover like me. In my spare time I run, dance and occasionally tread the boards with my local amateur dramatics group. My first love is reading though and you will never find me without a book on the go. My husband is also an avid reader and we are hoping to pass on our love of reading to our daughters. They certainly love their bedtime stories every night. Although I have and English degree and I am familiar with most of the classics, I generally read much lighter stuff these days. It’s mainly ‘chic lit’ but I also enjoy a good thriller or courtroom drama. I have so many favourite authors and this list tends to change regularly depending on what I am reading.

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