Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Picture Perfect by Jodi Picoult

Title: Picture Perfect
Author: Jodi Picoult
ISBN: 9780425185508
Publisher: Berkley Books/1995
Pages: 369

A woman loses her memory and is found by a cop, Will Flying Horse, who is half-white Lakota Indian. When they advertise about her in the newspapers, Alex Rivers, one of the hottest actors of Hollywood comes to claim her as his wife, Cassie Barrett, a well-known anthropologist. Everyone including Cassie is stunned. He takes her back to their larger than life of luxury. He is the perfect husband that anyone can wish to have. However, she does not recognise him although he says they have been married for three years.

By bits and pieces, Cassie regains her memory and remembers why she had left him in the first place. She again walks out on him without saying a word and goes to Will to hide her from Alex. She knows Alex has the resource to find her from anywhere. Will knows one place where no one would look for Cassie, the Indian reservation that he hates with all his heart. However having no other choice, he takes her there to his grand parents, Cyrus and Dorothea who are not very welcoming and look at her with scepticism. Slowly they accept her into their fold.

Alex is deeply in love with his wife. When she walks away with a word for the second time, he completely breaks down. Cassie loves her husband and knows that she will go back to him, even though he cannot keep his promises. Finally, Cassie realises she cannot live with him. She has only one way of getting out it. That is, by telling the Media the secret about Alex Rivers by calling a press conference. It is the only way he can let go of her, by hating her.

Why does she run away in the first place? What is the secret between him, which no one else knows? Why cannot Cassie get away from him? Is she ever free of him? Why does she keep on remembering her childhood friend, Connor? How does Will make a difference to her life? Is it true that we cannot escape the past, no matter what?

As with all of her books, this too covers a topic, which is so much prevalent all over the world. Nevertheless, women do not want to come out of it. Why does a woman put up with so much in the name of love? What makes her love that man who physically abuses her? Why does a woman think and feel that he will change as he promised?

It is one of the earlier books by Picoult. It is interesting but not as compelling as her later books. She makes use of Indian folklore as symbolism. Jodi Picoult does a lot of research to write a book. Her characters are never black or white.