Sunday, December 2, 2007

Perfect Match by Jodi Picoult

Title: Perfect Match
Author: Jodi Picoult
ISBN: 9780340897225
Publisher: Hodder and Stoughton/389 pages

It seems I am in some kind of roll reading Picoult! This is my fifth book by her. She has written many books. Her books take up issues, which many of us wish to brush under the carpet. As someone said, her stories hit too close to home.

Perfect match too is not so different. It takes up an issue, which is any parent’s nightmare. That, a child being raped. Nina Frost is a DA who tries to prosecute child abusers. Most of the times, the culprit goes free. When her five-year-old son is sexually abused, the world around her crashes down. Now she cannot think in a detached manner expected of a lawyer. Her son is her only concern and she has to protect him from at any cost.

How she goes about it is the moral dilemma faced by her, her husband Caleb and her best friend Patrick Ducharme. A split second decision turns out to be horribly wrong.

The book opens with Nina shooting down a priest in the court who she believes has sexually abused her son, Nathaniel. After she is taken into custody, she ceases being the person she was. Her husband leaves home with their son when she is released on bail. She completely breaks down. Only person, who supports her and believes in her, is her childhood friend, Patrick who has always loved her.

From there, the questions start. Did she do the right thing? Is she morally right and legally wrong? Is her life finished? What goes wrong? Why does Caleb distance himself from her? Is she going to lose the very thing she is fighting for? Picoult has the capacity to show us all the sides. Her way or rendering a story is spellbinding. Her capacity to research and presenting it for the layman is praiseworthy. Her story telling is objective. It is we, who take sides.

I work for sexually abused girls. I see families breaking down. I get emotionally involved too. This hit me hard. How do we justify child abuse especially from the very person we trust? That too, from a father. Believe me, the child involved never recovers.<


Italia said...

The topic is very controversial and it does show the battle of justice versus a mother's love. However,the ending and storyline are not very realistic and Picoult does not stay true to her usual show of justice. The story does show a very hurtful topic, a young child being sexually abused and mother trying to do what is right. However, this is not a book to read when you want to be cheered up and I wouoldn't recommend reading it at leisure. Having said this though it is a great book to read for a discussion group and it does help change your perspective of the world.