The Pact by Jodi Picoult

The Pact: a love story by Jodi Picoult

389 pages

Copyright 1998

Published by HarperCollins

Jodi Picoult is the bestselling author of twenty novels, including My Sister’s Keeper.  She is known for creating provocative themes with family conflicts and difficult moral choices.  As one of the most powerful writers in contemporary fiction, Picoult has outdone herself in her fifth novel, The Pact. 

For eighteen years, the Hartes and the Golds have been nextdoor neighbors.  Their lives were intertwined.  The Hartes’ son Chris and The Golds’ daughter Emily were born just months apart and were inseparable since.  It was no surprise when their friendship blossomed into something more.  Everyone knew they were soul mates.  However, just when it seems like nothing could rip these families apart from eachother, tragedy strikes with midnight calls from the hospital.  Emily is dead from a gunshot wound to the head, inflicted by Chris as part of a suicide pact.  When a single additional bullet is found in the gun, Chris states it was meant for himself.  In spite of this, a local detective has his doubts.  As Chris finds himself on trial for murder, Jodi Picoult portrays, with extraordinary talent, families in anguish as guilt, loss, and betrayal enter their lives.

Picoult has a true gift in story telling.   Switching between different characters and different periods of time allow all points of the story to be heard.  “Engrossing… Picoult has a remarkable ability to make us share her characters’ feelings of confusion and horror… The Pact is compelling reading,” said People.  This deeply moving novel is filled with compassion and heartbreak.  The Pact made me smile and weep, but most of all it made me think.