Blurb: Bestselling author Jodi Picoult's The Tenth Circle is a metaphorical journey through Dante's Inferno, told through the eyes of a small Maine family whose hidden demons haunt every aspect of their seemingly peaceful existence. Woven throughout the novel are a series of dramatic illustrations that pay homage to the family's patriarch (comic book artist Daniel Stone), and add a unique twist to this gripping, yet somewhat rhetorical tale.
Trixie Stone is an imaginative, perceptive 14 year old whose life begins to unravel when Jason Underhill, Bethel High's star hockey player, breaks up with her, leaving a void that can only be filled by the blood spilled during shameful self-mutilations in the girls' bathroom. While Trixie's dad Daniel notices his daughter's recent change in demeanour, he turns a blind eye, just as he does to the obvious affair his wife Laura, a college professor, is barely trying to conceal. When Trixie gets raped at a friend's party, Daniel and Laura are forced to deal not only with the consequences of their daughter's physical and emotional trauma, but with their own transgressions as well. For Daniel, that means reflecting on a childhood spent as the only white kid in a native Alaskan village, where isolation and loneliness turned him into a recluse, only to be born again after falling in love with his wife. Laura, who blames her family's unravelling on her selfish affair, must decide how to reconcile her personal desires with her loved ones' needs.
The Tenth Circle is chock full of symbolism and allegory that at times can seem oppressive. Still, Picoult's fans will welcome this skilfully told story of betrayal and its many negative and positive consequences.
Review: I quite enjoyed this book and found the story was enhanced by the artwork contained within it - unfortunately, I have not been able to decipher the hidden message. The story held my interest but, I feel, its not as good as some of her other books.
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