Tuesday, 3 November 2009
The Pact - Jodi Picoult
Synopsis: The Hartes and the Golds have lived next door to each other for eighteen years. They have shared everything. Chris and Emily are joined at the hip so it's no surprise to anyone when their close bond becomes a romance - after all it's what their parents have been hoping for. But everything is shattered when a midnight call comes from the hospital, Emily is seventeen and dead from a gunshot wound which Chris is responsible. Chris says the plan was for them both to die - it was a suicide pact, he says the second bullet was meant for him.
The Pact is intricately written and is ultimately the story of how far you'd be willing to go for the love of your life. It begs the question: Would you kill for them? Or rather, would you kill them if they asked you to? At the same time it is also the story of how far a parent would go to protect their child.
Throughout the book I got a sense of Chris being more in love with Emily than she was with him, sure she loved him but even she wasn't sure it was the same kind of love. From her side I felt a sense or need to please everyone and to live up to this lifelong expectation. I found myself to be sympathetic towards Chris, he loved Emily and would do just about anything for her but perhaps wasn't willing to die for her and his sense of guilt throughout the book is overwhelming.
Jodi Picoult's books are always very enlightening - they tackle moral and legal issues which are not always so black and white which I find very realistic because in life there are shades of grey and Jodi Picoult manages to portray all angles.
In The Pact, she portrays the blurred perception of what reasonable doubt really is and how quickly love can change and turn into something else, how there really is a fine line between love and hate. I think in The Pact it is really up to the individual reader to decide if Chris is guilty of murder or not, it is a personal opinion because of the way it has been written which is what I found intriguing and endearing about the book and why it is an absolutely wonderful read, one of my new favourites.