Monday, July 16, 2012

Second Glance - Jodi Picoult

After I finished reading The Hunger Games series and began searching for my next read, I knew I could count on Jodi Picoult. I've read several of Picoult's books, so she seemed like the natural choice for a summer read, like slipping into an old faded pair of jeans.

The book I chose, however, was a bit out of the ordinary - both for me the reader, and Picoult, the writer. Second Glance is a ghost-story, not my usual pick and not something Picoult is known for. But I was intrigued and decided to try something new.

Second Glance is a ghost-story in that the plot is based on mysterious happenings in a small Vermont town that begin when a developer is slated to build a strip mall on an ancient Abenaki Indian burial ground. But at its heart, Second Glance is ultimately a story of love and family.

If you pick up Second Glance, you will notice a lot of characters are introduced right away - don't let that deter you from reading on.   The number of characters in this novel can be overwhelming - I actually jotted down the names as they were introduced to help me keep them all straight in the beginning.

Picoult carefully crafts a complex story blending fact, fiction, past and present, as Ross Wakeman, a ghost-hunter who has never actually seen a ghost though he is haunted by the loss of his fiance, encounters Lia - a mysterious woman unlike any he's ever met.

Picoult pieces together a story of the paranormal, the Abekanki Indians and the real life eugenics project of the 1930s.

Though the paranormal subject matter strays from Picoult's typical topics. readers won't be disappointed. Her story is still compelling, her characters in-depth (despite the number of them) This book may require a bit more patience on the part of readers. It may take some focus to keep up with the characters, their genealogy and their connections to one another.

In the end everything ties together (almost a bit too neatly) I must give Picoult credit for her ability to put all the pieces together like a jigsaw puzzle. And, as always, Picoult has done her research.

Ultimately, Second Glance was a fun, interesting, read. Just don't bring it to the beach and expect to whip through it in a day or two.

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