This is only the second of Picoult’s novels that I have read, but like Nineteen Minutes, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Amazon synopsis:

The discovery of a dead infant in an Amish barn shakes Lancaster County to its core. But the police investigation leads to a more shocking disclosure: circumstantial evidence suggests that eighteen-year-old Katie Fisher, an unmarried Amish woman believed to be the newborn’s mother, took the child’s life. When Ellie Hathaway, a disillusioned big city attorney, comes to Paradise, Pennsylvania, to defend Katie, two cultures collide and, for the first time in her high profile career, Ellie faces a system of justice very different from her own. Delving deep into the world of those who live ‘plain’, Ellie must find a way to reach Katie on her terms. As she unravels a tangled murder case, Ellie also looks deep within to confront her own fears and desires when a man from her past comes back into her life.

I was completely hooked by this book from the opening page. The story is full of love, court room drama, murder and faith. I have no idea if what Picoult writes about the Amish is correct, but it certainly opened my eyes a little bit. I had a go at guessing the end, which I got wrong, but on reflection I should have seen coming. However, that does not affect the story at all. I found myself loving the characters, sympathising with them, wishing I had some of that Amish peace and thinking about the story when I wasn’t reading the book. In fact, I am still reflecting now. I was even getting angry at the prosecution in the court! I felt like I was there watching, I love a book where I feel like I’m involved. I loved the ending. Highlight to view spoiler: I had initially thought that Katie’s father did the killing, but it turned out to be her mother, who was just trying to hold onto the only child she had left. I found that just so touching. There was excitment on virtually every page. I can only highly recommend this book.

9/10

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This is the blurb from www.amazon.co.uk:

The new top ten bestselling novel from the much loved author of Girl with a Pearl Earring Flames and funerals, circus feats and seduction, neighbours and nakedness: Tracy Chevalier’s new novel ‘Burning Bright’ sparkles with drama. London 1792. The Kellaways move from familiar rural Dorset to the tumult of a cramped, unforgiving city. They are leaving behind a terrible loss, a blow that only a completely new life may soften. Against the backdrop of a city jittery over the increasingly bloody French Revolution, a surprising bond forms between Jem, the youngest Kellaway boy, and streetwise Londoner Maggie Butterfield. Their friendship takes a dramatic turn when they become entangled in the life of their neighbour, the printer, poet and radical, William Blake. He is a guiding spirit as Jem and Maggie navigate the unpredictable, exhilarating passage from innocence to experience. Their journey inspires one of Blake’s most entrancing works. Georgian London is recreated as vividly in Burning Bright as 17th-century Delft was in Tracy Chevalier’s bestselling masterpiece, Girl with a Pearl Earring.

I really enjoyed this book. The characters are gripping and interesting. I loved Mr. Blake! What a guy! I admire him for standing up for what he believes in.

It was extremely well written and flowed easily. I was not lost or confused, which always helps! I was gripped from the first page.

My only criticism is the ending. It ended quite abruptly, however I can see how that fits with the story.

I highly recommend this book to everyone.

My rating: 9/10

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Kate

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