Friday Filter: Book “The Tenth Circle”

I recently finished Jodi Picoult’s book The Tenth Circle. Here is the “back cover” synopsis from Amazon.

Fourteen-year-old Trixie Stone is in love for the first time. She’s also the light of her father, Daniel’s life — a straight-A student; a pretty, popular freshman in high school; a girl who’s always seen her father as a hero. That is, until her world is turned upside down with a single act of violence. Suddenly everything Trixie has believed about her family — and herself — seems to be a lie. Could the boyfriend who once made Trixie wild with happiness have been the one to end her childhood forever? She says that he is, and that is all it takes to make Daniel, a seemingly mild-mannered comic book artist with a secret tumultuous past he has hidden even from his family, venture to hell and back to protect his daughter. 

This is probably the first book of Picoult’s that I was not particularly fond of personally.

Rewind. It is a good book. As usual, Picoult is a phenomenal writer, who can depict raw emotions as if they are actually happening to you. I particularly did like that it showed parts of the story from the dad’s point of view, which I feel in our society is often missed. Being raised primarily by my own dad, I enjoyed seeing that love and connection in this story.

The story went through a series of events and how a split moment can change a person’s life forever. Picoult showed three different perspectives: the daughter, mother, and father. They were all impacted by this single act, and all chose to react in various ways to protect themselves and what they had left of their family.

This book had it all:  romance, violence, sex, teenage angst, range of emotions, drugs and alcohol, murder, suicide, Alaskan wilderness…covered.

She also put a twist in there by having a comic book in between chapters. Daniel, the father, is a comic book artist in the story, and these drawings were supposedly his. So this added a different layer and lens on the story, since most of the comics paralleled what was happening to their family. And apparently there is a hidden code in those pages. I wasn’t able to figure it out, but maybe another day.

But I just wasn’t feeling this book. Unlike her other books, I wasn’t connected to it. Actually, I think it was the opposite, I was too connected to it. The story lines were abrasive and harsh. They were all a little too real for me. I see these stories play out at work, and the pain and anguish I read just didn’t sit right with me. It stirred up emotions that I really couldn’t do anything with so that was frustrating. It brought up experiences that I had no control over so it was like feeling helpless all over again.

So I wasn’t the biggest fan of this particular story. Sometimes you just don’t like it even if it is good for others.

Picoult is still one of my favorite authors for her realness and the way she brings stories to life. I will no doubt continue to read her work, but this is one that I probably won’t read again for personal reasons.

Friday Filters offer a review that are my own opinions. I was not contacted by anyone associated with this work or compensated for my review. My review has not been influenced by anything other than my love for entertainment and art.

I would love to hear your thoughts!

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