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Tenth Circle
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About the Author

Jodi Picoult, who has fifteen novels and three children to her credit, was born and raised on Long Island. She received a doctorate in creative writing from Princeton and a master's degree in education from Harvard.

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When a comic book artist married to a Dante scholar writes a graphic novel, what better title than The Tenth Circle? Of course, Daniel Stone feels he's descended into hell when his 14-year-old daughter, Trixie, is date raped by Jason Underhill. Despite his soft and gentle Maine demeanor, Daniel had a wild and violent past growing up in Alaska, and letting the police investigation proceed is setting off a rage he had long suppressed. The night of the attack, he also learns his wife, Laura, is having an affair. Hell would be preferable. Picoult's (Vanishing Acts) latest novel actually features Daniel's artwork in a tale that parallels his real life, and readers are drawn into the mystery surrounding the events of the rape and its subsequent effects on all concerned. What truths will be revealed? And who, ultimately, will find justice? Picoult had this reader up until the very end of this fast-paced tale. As with her previous novels (e.g., My Sister's Keeper), Picoult doesn't guarantee a happy ending, but something here just missed its mark. Still, this best-selling author is going to be in demand. Recommended for most public libraries. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 11/15/05.]-Bette-Lee Fox, Library Journal Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Some of Picoult's best storytelling distinguishes her twisting, metaphor-rich 13th novel (after Vanishing Acts) about parental vigilance gone haywire, inner demons and the emotional risks of relationships. Comic book artist Daniel Stone is like the character in his graphic novel with the same title as this book-once a violent youth and the only white boy in an Alaskan Inuit village, now a loving, stay-at-home dad in Bethel, Maine-traveling figuratively through Dante's circles of hell to save his 14-year-old teenage daughter, Trixie. After she accuses her ex-boyfriend of rape, Trixie-and Daniel, whose fierce father-love morphs to murderous rage toward her assailant-unravel in the aftermath of the allegation. At the same time, wife and mother Laura, a Dante scholar, tries to mend her and Daniel's marriage after ending her affair with one of her students. Picoult has collaborated with graphic artist Dustin Weaver to illustrate her deft, complex exploration of Daniel and his beast within, but the drawings, though well-done, distract from the powerful picture she has drawn with words. Laura and Daniel follow their runaway daughter to Alaska, at which point Picoult drives the story with the heavy-handed Dante metaphor-not the characters. Still, this story of a flawed family on the brink of destruction grips from start to finish. 20-city author tour. (Mar.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

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