Katie, an 18 year old Amish girl is accused of killing her infant from a pregnancy she kept hidden from her family and friends. Ellie a Philadelphia lawyer who is related through marriage to Katie agrees to represent her in court and to live with her for the duration of time until the court date to supervise her in lieu of the girl spending time in a jail. (Because of the accusation Katie has been shunned by her family and to stay out of jail on bail she needs to be under house arrest.)During their time together both women learn a lot about themselves and where their lives are going.
I enjoyed getting a better look at Amish culture and gaining a better understanding of the beliefs and customs that are held within the Amish community. The first page or two had me wondering if I even wanted to read the book, but it was so worthwhile to explore. Katie insists repeatedly that she has not had a baby even though a dead infant is found in the barn of her family's farm and upon examination by a doctor she shows all the signs of having recently delivered a baby. As her reasoning is revealed and her faith in God is shown you start to understand her more and wonder what really happened to the baby. I don't want to give any spoilers but by the end of the novel those questions are answered. As with other Picoult novels I've read, I don't always care for how the mother of the main character is portrayed and how she acts. I enjoyed this book and really enjoyed the growth Ellie shows. She is 39 and has put off having a child or getting married, but as part of this case she reconnects with an old boyfriend and through being separated by living within the Amish community she actually is able to find herself. It made me wonder how much quicker we all might make strides in our own lives if we were not so connected and distracted by technology and television and cell phones. Sometimes simpler might be better and simpler does not always mean lacking in layers and complexity.