“Salem Falls” is probably the last Jodi Picoult novel I plan on reading for a very long time. Of all three books that I have reviewed, I would have to give this one 2 out of 5 stars, and here is why.
First of all, I didn’t understand why she chose to switch back and forth by year. It was extremely difficult to follow, and so many of the flashbacks were unnecessary. Take the one back to 1969 when Jack was born as an example. That subplot had absolutely no bearing on the story. Picoult crammed too much into one story, and it made me wonder if the book was really worth finishing. I would recommend that readers skim the flashbacks, but pay close attention to story happening in Salem Falls, and prior to that when Jack was a teacher.
Secondly, teenage witches? It almost seemed as though she was inspired by an episode of “Sabrina the Teenage Witch” The topic of false accusations and rape made such a good story, I wish she had more realistic teenage characters so the story could be more logical.
On the plus side, I give Picoult 5 stars for effective research on DNA testing. It was obvious she knew what she was writing about, with all those tables and complicated scientific explanations during the court case. Also, Jack, Addie, Roy, Catherine, Jordan, and Selena were so three dimensional, and so perfectly described, the reader almost feels like they know the characters personally.
Final verdict: Salem Falls is worth a read if you are patient enough and like a good thriller.