Plus, receive recommendations and exclusive offers on all of your favorite books and authors from Simon & Schuster.
Table of Contents
About The Book
Love can redeem a man...but secrets and lies can condemn him.
A handsome stranger comes to the sleepy New England town of Salem Falls in hopes of burying his past: Once a teacher at a girls' prep school, Jack St. Bride was destroyed when a student's crush sparked a powder keg of accusation. Now, washing dishes for Addie Peabody at the Do-Or-Diner, he slips quietly into his new routine, and Addie finds this unassuming man fitting easily inside her heart. But amid the rustic calm of Salem Falls, a quartet of teenage girls harbor dark secrets—and they maliciously target Jack with a shattering allegation. Now, at the center of a modern-day witch hunt, Jack is forced once again to proclaim his innocence: to a town searching for answers, to a justice system where truth becomes a slippery concept written in shades of gray, and to the woman who has come to love him.
Reading Group Guide
Get a FREE ebook by joining our mailing list today! Plus, receive recommendations for your next Book Club read.
2. Jack, Gilly, and Addie are all victims of assault. How do their responses to being attacked differ?
3. Salem Falls is described as idyllic when first seen through the eyes of Jack St. Bride, but Charlie Saxton only sees the worst. Is this a reflection of their respective innocent and guilty consciences?
4. Think about the statue of Giles Courey in the middle of town. When Gilly’s accusations set off a modern-day “witch hunt” against Jack, how does history repeat itself? What lessons, if any, were learned from history?
5. Imagine that Addie had reported her rape. What do you think would have happened? Do you think her rapists would have been treated differently than Jack St. Bride?
6. In general, lawyers in rape cases cannot introduce evidence of a victim’s sexual history. One exception is to suggest that a specimen may have come from a man other than the accused rapist. Yet when Gilly tells Charlie Sexton that she was not a virgin before she was attacked, Charlie does not investigate who else she might have had sex with. Do you think he had a duty to do so, especially since she was a minor? Why do you think he didn’t?
7. Discuss Amos Duncan. A rapist in both the past and present, he is among the loudest of those crying for Jack’s blood. Do you think he experienced any conflict in doing so? What kind of power did he hold over his daughter and his friends to keep them from revealing his secret?
8. Townsfolk think Addie is crazy because of her continued attachment to Chloe. How might Chloe’s conception have affected Addie’s response to her death? How did Chloe’s life and death affect others, like Charlie and Meg?
9. Jordan swings back and forth between believing Jack. If you were Jordan, would you have been able to represent Jack if you did not believe he was telling the truth? If you were Jack, how would you feel about having to convince your lawyer first, when it is the lawyer’s job to convince the judge and jury of your innocence?
10. Charlie is suspicious of Jack, who is a criminal on paper only. How does Charlie differ from Amos in dealing with his own past crimes? Is Charlie’s eventual expression of remorse good enough?
- Publisher: Atria Books (May 18, 2001)
- Length: 448 pages
- ISBN13: 9780743422796
Browse Related Books
Raves and Reviews
"A frothy brew of mystery, sex, and small-town secrets."
"Gripping.... You'll be riveted by this multilayeredtale of small-town intrigue."
"Picoult has carved her own niche with her novels -- one part romance, one part courtroom thriller, two parts social commentary.... She keep[s] the reader constantly guessing."
-- The Dallas Morning News
Resources and Downloads
High Resolution Images
- Book Cover Image (jpg): Salem Falls eBook 9780743422796
- Author Photo (jpg): Jodi Picoult Photograph © Adam Bouska(0.1 MB)
Any use of an author photo must include its respective photo credit
You may also like: Thriller and Mystery Staff Picks
More to Explore
Our Summer Reading Recommendations
Red-hot romances, poolside fiction, and blockbuster picks, oh my! Start reading the hottest books of the summer.
This Month's New Releases
From heart-pounding thrillers to poignant memoirs and everything in between, check out what's new this month.