Plain Truth by Jodi Picoult

The setting of Plain Truth is the Amish community in Pennsylvania.  As the story begins, Katie, anplain truth unmarried eighteen-year-old Amish girl, is in her family’s barn, giving birth to a baby.  A few hours later, it’s time to milk the cows, and the milkers find the baby – dead.  Against all medical evidence, Katie says that she has never had sex and never been pregnant.  When Katie faces charges of first-degree murder, the case gathers wide-spread attention because the Amish so rarely break laws of any kind.

Ellie, a defense lawyer who is a relative of Katie’s – but is not Amish – agrees to defend Katie.  Someone must watch Katie until the trial to assure that she does not disappear, and Ellie agrees to live with Katie and her family during this time.

Is Katie guilty of murder?  Who is the father of the baby?  Why does Katie insist that the baby is not hers – is she lying, or does she really not remember?  Even Ellie is not sure of the answers.  The plot involves many twists and turns, right up to the very end of the novel.

As Ellie experiences Amish life for the first time, the book gives readers a view of a lifestyle which is something of a mystery to most of us.

(Helen Snow, retired from Information Services)

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