Title: The Pact
Author: Jodi Picoult
# of pages: 389
Date Completed: April 11, 2008
Chris and Emily were like "two flip sides of a coin." They grew up in adjacent houses in a quiet New England town. Inseparable from the time they could walk, they were not only best friends, but they deeply felt the other's happiness as well as pain, as if it were their own. When Emily's secret pain becomes too much for her to bear, she makes up her mind to end her already short life. Emily tells her plan to Chris and he now is faced with deciding what is best for his beloved--telling a parent about her decision, physically stopping her from committing the act, or helping her do what she feels is the only way out of her torment.
Knowing the subject matter, I was conflicted about this book even before I began reading it, and that feeling stayed with me throughout the book. Most of the time, I am an overly optimistic person, and I have a difficult time reading books that I know contain really sad events. Since "real life" can often be so depressing (just watch the nightly news any night of the week), I generally like to escape by reading about people/ideas/events that are happy or at least have a happy ending. The Pact definitely did not make me feel happy!
Jodi Picoult wrote a page-turner--I had a hard time putting the book down. I needed to find out the truth of what happened with Chris and Emily, but all I really wanted to do was to put the book in the freezer (like Joey of Friends) and try to forget about it. What makes me truly sad is that though this was a fictional story, there are many people who have felt or feel like Emily--that they are completely out of options.
I did recently buy Nineteen Minutes, but I will be waiting awhile before reading another Picoult book. She is a good storyteller, but I'm not ready yet for such a heart-wrenching story.