Jodi Picoult is an American novelist born on May 19, 1966 in Long Island, New York. She grew up surrounded by art and literature considering both her mother and grandmother were English teachers. They were a heavy influence on her as a child, which allowed her to become an avid reader at a young age. After graduating high school, she attended Princeton University to study creative writing and later enrolled at Harvard University to earn a master’s degree in education. She then took on various jobs to support herself, including editing books, teaching middle school, and writing freelance. In the free time she had, Picoult wrote incessantly, leading to the publication of her debut novel, Songs of the Humpback Whale, in 1992.
In 2000, Picoult released another fiction book entitled Plain Truth, which tells the story of Katie Fisher, a teenage girl who lives on Amish farmland. She is accused of murdering her newborn child, but when prosecutors confront her about it, she denies even birthing the decedent. An attorney named Ellie Hathaway defends Katie throughout her trial, and the two form a close bond despite their differing personalities.
Upon its publication, Plain Truth garnered rave reviews from audiences and critics for its provocative depiction of an Amish community stunned by a murder of one of their own. However, many criticize the book for its lack of action and suspense. Publishers Weekly states that “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.”