Thursday, February 28, 2008

My new favorite author

I go through phases of loving certain authors. I'll devour everything by one author, then move on to another, then another.

My kick now is Jodi Picoult. I've heard of her and seen a lot of her books around, was always fascinated, but never read any. I didn't want to spend the money buy the books. [This was before I became a die-hard Library fan.] So the first one I bought was The Pact, b/c I could get it paperback and cheaper than all the others. I didn't 100% love it. I liked the author's style, but the whole topic of suicide was just to depressing, and I came to really dislike the female main character.

Anyway, I decided to give Jodi Picoult another chance. I got My Sister's Keeper out from my library. This was the first book I'd ever heard of by her and really had grabbed my attention. I had high expectations... and the book was far better than I imagined. You can check out the link for a more detailed description, but basicly its about an older sister who has leukemia. The parents purposefully had another child just to use as a donor for the sick child. So this younger sister has gone through many operations and finally has had enough... she refuses to give up a kidney. So she goes to a lawyer to file for 'medical emancipation' from her parents. Anyway, it was fantastic. And the ending caught me completely off guard. She just hits you with it! And I cried and cried. It was fantastic.

I hurried back to my library for another book. I 'ordered' one to come in from another library, but it wasn't in yet and I just couldn't wait. So I picked up Plain Truth. I wasn't too thrilled about getting this one, but it was the only one that they had in at the time.

My reason for not wanting to read it: the setting is Paradise, a small town in Lancaster county. I don't live quite near it, but I'm familiar with the town. Anyway, its about the Amish. And I thought, "how is this woman gonna know anything about the Amish?" But she did a good job. Got a few things wrong though. [Oh first, the premise: a dead baby is found in a farm, and a young single Amish girl is acused of the crime.]

Here are the mistakes:
1) First to mention is Lancaster County Court House. I'm pretty positive from my time as a juror there that murder cases are not tried at county court; they'd be taken to the larger courts in Philly. And she writes that the lawyer gal walks out of the courthouse disheartened and sits on the steps, watching the trees blow in the wind. Umm... not so much. There aren't really trees out there; just a few that the city planted to try to look nice. And you wouldn't be able to hear the leaves rustle in the wind; Lancaster City is a CITY, very loud and crowded. Lots of cars honking.

2) The Strasburg Railroad is NOT a working railroad. Its a tourist thing. I went there not to long ago with Erica and some other family members. You can take a 45 minute train ride for fun. Kids like it; not too exciting for adults. Anyway, the author said that the main character traveled across state leaving from the Strasburg Railroad. Nope, not so. Its been a tourist thing since 1958.

3) This is my favorite. She said that during the Amish teens' wild years, they'd sometimes go to the nearby Turkey Hill to buy beer. My first reaction was "Yeah Turkey Hill!" My second reaction was... "Wait! You can't buy alcohol there!" For those not aquainted with it, Turkey Hill is a chain of gas stations. That's where I was with Erica when she said her rude little thing to the guy behind us in line. They make their own ice cream [which is great] and iced tea, among other things. But they're definitely not selling beer; you can't buy beer in PA at a gas station, or a grocery store for that matter. Only "state stores," places specificly set aside for selling alcohol. [Out to eat, of course, you can still get your margarita or whatever. But to buy cases, it has to be at these stores.] It's nothing I ever really thought of growing up; though, my family doesn't drink alcohol. But I remember the first time I saw cases of beer at a gas station out-of-state, I was shocked and said, "Mom! Are they alowed to do that?"

Those are just trifle little things. In all, I think she captured Lancaster County quite well. The book was fantastic; though was definitely at an advantege being Pennsylvania Dutch. I don't speak it, not even close. But I do know a few sayings that did pop up in the book. Would any of you know what it means for a person to say: "I'm all ferhoodled" ???


silverneurotic said...

I love Jodi Picoult too...I've not read Plain Truth yet, but I have read both The Pact and My Sisters Keeper (and The Tenth Circle, Vanishing Act, and Nineteen Minutes-which I reviewed on my blog). I got my Mom into her as well.

She has a new book out soon, though, I can't think of the name.

Karen said...

Wouldn't you be confused? My Dutch is sketchy. We live very near an Amish community.

I need to get to my library. I, too, hate spending money on something that I might not like. Plus I haven't had time to read lately. But I'm desperate for a good book.

Turkey Hill just moved here a few years ago as direct competition for Sheetz.

Becky L said...

silverneurotic- another fan! Fantastic. My next one is 'Perfect Match,' but after that I do want to read 10th Circle.

Karen- Yup, we have Sheetz too. Although, here Turkey Hill came first. Sheetz is a relatively new thing. But I do love that they make lattes and cappaccinos. Oh, and ferhoodled is confused/mixed up/crazy

Smalltown RN said...

hey Becky...yes it has been you are an avid make my head spin...thansk for stopping by to say hello....

'liya said...

What a coincedence, I was just about to begin a book-related post :D

The one thing I don't like about the library is that all the good books are always taken out or otherwise we have to put our names on waiting lists and when it's my time I always forget to pick it up!

Raj said...

Umm...I don't really read.

Lindsay said...

I was the same way when I read a book that was based in Key West. As I read through it I kept saying "that's not true". The one error I remember the most is that the author said that the Air Force was stationed there but they aren't, it's the Navy! Stuff like that bugs me!!!

Burgh Baby's Mom said...

Those inconsistencies would have actually ruined the book for me. I hate when I KNOW the author has portrayed something incorrectly. Do your homework, or set your book somewhere completely fictional. That's the only way to keep me happy.

Crazy Me said...

Haven't read any of her books. Might have to give her a try.

Becky L said...

Thank you, all of my commenters. I really procrastinated in replying to your remarks.

Smalltown RN- yeah, I am a rather avid reader.

'liya- luckily, I don't normally have to wait long for books to come in. [Movies can take awhile though.]

raj- not a reader?!?! That's okay; to each their own.

lindsay- wow, that's a big mistake

burgh baby's mom- the book I'm writing is taking place in a fictional setting. I don't want to run into the same problem of inconsistencies.

crazy me- she is worth trying. Definitely "my sister's keeper"