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"Engrossing...The Pact is compelling reading."--People
In this heart-rending tale of love and friendship, Jodi Picoult brings to life a familiar world, and in a single terrifying moment awakens every parent's worst fear: We think we know our children . . . but do we ever really know them at all?
The Golds and the Hartes, neighbors for eighteen years, have always been inseparable. So have their children--and it's no surprise that in high school Chris and Emily's friendship blossoms into something more. But the bonds of family, friendship, and passion--which had seemed so indestructible--suddenly threaten to unravel in the wake of unimaginable tragedy.
When midnight calls from the hospital come in, no one is ready for the truth. Emily is dead at seventeen from a gunshot wound to the head. There's a single unspent bullet in the gun that Chris pilfered from his father's cabinet--a bullet that Chris tells police he intended for himself. But a local detective has doubts about the suicide pact that Chris describes.
This extraordinary, poignant novel paints an indelible portrait of two families in anguish . . . and creates an astonishingly suspenseful courtroom drama as Chris is put on trial for murder.
From the Back Cover
From Jodi Picoult, one of the most powerful writers in contemporary fiction, comes a riveting, timely, heartbreaking, and terrifying novel of families in anguish -- and friendships ripped apart by inconceivable violence. Until the phone calls came at 3:00 A.M. on a November morning, the Golds and their neighbors, the Hartes, had been inseparable. It was no surprise to anyone when their teenage children, Chris and Emily, began showing signs that their relationship was moving beyond that of lifelong friends. But now seventeen-year-old Emily has been shot to death by her beloved and devoted Chris as part of an apparent suicide pact -- leaving two devastated families stranded in the dark and dense predawn, desperate for answers about an unthinkable act and the children they never really knew.
"It's hard to exaggerate how well Picoult writes." -- Financial Times
"Picoult is a skilled wordsmith, and she beautifully creates situations that not only provoke the mind but touch the flawed souls in all of us." -- Boston Globe
"Picoult always tells both sides of a story not with judgment, but with grace." -- Washington Post
"Picoult is a writer who understands her characters inside and out." -- Roxane Gay, New York Times Book Review