Publishers Weekly was mixed in their review saying "told from both third-person omniscient and first-person (Ellie's) vantages, the story rolls leisurely through the trial preparations, the results of which are repeated, tediously, in the courtroom. Perhaps the story's quietude is appropriate, given its magnificently painted backdrop and distinctive characters, but one can't help wishing that the spark igniting the book's opening pages had built into a full-fledged blaze." Kristina Lanier was more positive in her review for the Christian Science Monitor saying "Picoult sets a big task for herself in "Plain Truth," but she pulls it off - avoiding sentimentality and even maintaining the cultural tension and thriller-like guessing game into the book's final scenes. Picoult's strength, though, lies in sculpting solid characters and a thoughtful, well-researched, and well-paced yarn."  The novel was Book of the Week in the May 8, 2000 issues of People magazine. Their review written by Jill Smolowe said "despite the occasional cliche and a coda that feels artificially tacked on, Picoult's seventh novel never loses its grip. The research is convincing, the plotting taut, the scenes wonderfully vivid. Most impressive, the author gets beneath the uniformities of dress, custom and conduct to paint a unique community--closed to most Americans--in all its social and psychological complexity"
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