“The Tenth Circle” by Jodi Picoult
Genre: Adult Fiction, Contemporary fiction
Summary from Goodreads:
Bestselling author Jodi Picoult’s The Tenth Circle is a metaphorical journey through Dante’s Inferno, told through the eyes of a small Maine family whose hidden demons haunt every aspect of their seemingly peaceful existence. Woven throughout the novel are a series of dramatic illustrations that pay homage to the family’s patriarch (comic book artist Daniel Stone), and add a unique twist to this gripping, yet somewhat rhetorical tale.
Trixie Stone is an imaginative, perceptive 14 year old whose life begins to unravel when Jason Underhill, Bethel High’s star hockey player, breaks up with her, leaving a void that can only be filled by the blood spilled during shameful self-mutilations in the girls’ bathroom. While Trixie’s dad Daniel notices his daughter’s recent change in demeanor, he turns a blind eye, just as he does to the obvious affair his wife Laura, a college professor, is barely trying to conceal. When Trixie gets raped at a friend’s party, Daniel and Laura are forced to deal not only with the consequences of their daughter’s physical and emotional trauma, but with their own transgressions as well. For Daniel, that means reflecting on a childhood spent as the only white kid in a native Alaskan village, where isolation and loneliness turned him into a recluse, only to be born again after falling in love with his wife. Laura, who blames her family’s unraveling on her selfish affair, must decide how to reconcile her personal desires with her loved ones’ needs.
The Tenth Circle is chock full of symbolism and allegory that at times can seem oppresive. Still, Picoult’s fans will welcome this skillfully told story of betrayal and its many negative, and positive consequences.
Normally I’m a big fan of her books. One summer I read like 7 of her books more or less back to back (that was a lot of reading for me at the time). I’m thinking I’ve ‘outgrown’ her books. The book is the style of hers that I enjoy. Her writing style makes me want to read her books nonstop until I’ve finished it. This book was no exception. I read most of it in about 8 hours.
The story unfortunately fell completely and totally flat. Everything about the story rubbed me the wrong way. I was ready to throw the book into the wall just reading the first chapter. Not to mention it’s just a rehashing of her other books (I never really noticed the similarities between all of her stories before). I despised everyone in the book. Shouldn’t you at least be able to like one character in a story? Everything was just so far out there and didn’t seem realistic at all. It was just not good.
There were some graphic novel bits between each of the chapters which was kind of cool.
Can’t say that I would really recommend this book to anyone. I guess if you’re a fan of hers, you might like to read it. I would never recommend this to someone who is wanting to get into her books.