Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Pact

Just finished reading this Picoult book and am not sure how I really feel about it. The Pact is called a love story, and centers on two teenagers, Emily and Chris. Both children and their families have been friends with each other for about 18 years (since the Golds (Emily's family) moved in next door to the Hartes(Chris' family) ). Each family has watched this young couple grow into each other and become completely attached to one another in a way that expands beyond young love. However, both families are devastated by a phone call they each receive in the middle of the night concerning their children. Once at the hospital, the Golds find out that their daughter Emily is dead and the Harte's find their son to be the remaining survivor of a suicide pact. Soon we are thrust into the middle of an investigation into the murder of Emily Gold and the trial of Chris Harte. Along the way we flash back to moments from the past that show us the types of people that Chris and Emily have grown up to be and the ways in which their undying love towards one another has affected their lives. The parents of both children are at a loss to comprehend how this idea of suicide could even have been entertained by their children. Clinging to the past and what they believe to be true, both sets of parents attempt to deal with the grief of their losses (Emily, friendship, family, marriage, etc.) in their own ways. In the end we find out that Emily was sexually abused as a child and that her feelings towards Chris were love, but more like sister/brother love. She did not want to marry Chris and be with him in such an intimate way any longer and longed for freedom. However, upon finding out she is pregnant she decides that the only way to handle the situation is to commit suicide (so that she can escape from her unhappy life). Emily gets Chris to agree to borrow one of his father's guns and to be there with her when she ends her life - Chris agrees to do as Emily wishes, in the hopes of stopping her from killing herself. In the end Chris realizes that Emily's pain is too much for her to bear and so he decides that he will help her by pulling the trigger, yet he cannot bring himself to do it and so Emily presses her fingers atop of Chris' and the gun goes off and she dies, while he faints away. Chris is found not guilty and is released from prison. The Gold's move away and the Harte's remain a family. Emily of course remains in Chris' heart. The End. Okay, so it sounds like an interesting read, but for some reason I just can't place it as a good read. The Pact is filled with serious issues that are heartbreaking to read about and Picoult does a fine job addressing them. The writing is simple and the plot engrossing. However, I'm feeling mixed about this book - part of me likes it, but another part of me can't quite grasp what about it I liked. Oh well, I'll chalk it up to another book off of my TBR list and get on with my reading.
For a lighter read I am now about 1/4 way through Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella and I'll be picking up Sense and Sensibility afterward. Must get on with those challenges. Until the next post - Happy Reading!!


Lisa said...

Sounds like a lot of the books I read. Not the plot but the feeling you had at the end. Liked it but...The frustrating thing for me in those situations, is not being able to figure out how it could have been done differently for me to enjoy it more.

Holli said...

We should discuss this one! I loved this book. I would be interested in hearing what about it made you don't quite like it. I always like hearing another point of view!

Nadia said...

Lisa - Exactly! I liked the book but I just felt disconnected from it. And thinking about the book I do wonder what about it could have been different that perhaps would have made me like it. Very strange!

Holli - We should totally discuss this book! Maybe you can tell me what about it made you love it. It definitely helps to get another point of view. Thanks!

Mishel (P.S. I Love Books) said...

I really liked this one. I had a problem with the end because I guess it just wasn't how I wanted it. I'm sorry it didn't sit well with you.

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed this one but it was sad. Some parts were heartbreaking so it certainly wasnt a happily ever after kinda book!