Thursday, November 10, 2016

The Tenth Circle


If you've read Dante's Inferno, you'll understand what the Tenth Circle references to.
In Dante's inferno there is mention of the nine circles of hell, each circle reserved for a particular sin.

In Jodi Picoult's novel the Tenth Circle is one not mentioned in the novel, one for those who lie to themselves.

The Tenth Circle is about a girl who has been raped by her former boyfriend, after she went over a few boundaries to try and get him back.
It's all a blurry business and you never have got the idea that everyone is telling the truth.
Trixie, our rape victim, doesn't keep this secret but instead tells her father immediately. They go to the police and Jason, the boyfriend, is being arrested on behalf of rape charges.

Shortly after you start to drift as it becomes clear that Trixie isn't that innocent either and that she has lied in her statement.

We jump from person to person and get a glimpse of what Trixie and Jason are thinking, but also Trixie's mother and father, and even the cop who is doing the investigation.
In the end only one character seemed to go beyond the black and whiteness of this story and that's Richard, Trixie's father. He seems the only one alive and able to see past the innocence of his daughter, but not to the extent of seeing Jason as someone who has made a wrong judgment call.
He remains the predator of his daughter's innocence and Richard seeks vengeance.

The story is filled with cliché's: the mother who has an affair and isn't paying attention to her family, the father who suspects this and turns into himself, not paying enough attention to his daughter, the daughter who is speedily becoming a woman and experiments on the way there rather promiscuously and the perfect boyfriend who turns out to have a dark side. Even the cop with a broken past fits into this picture. The town who doesn't believe Trixie because Jason is a hockey star.

All this doesn't make for a believable story, but rather a saturday afternoon movie you'd watch when it's pouring outside, but you forget as soon as it's done.
It reads easily enough, but I don't think I'll remember much of it in a few months. It's not a lingering story, for that to happen it needs to portray the emotional side more than hauling every used up stereotype in this story.
And still it keeps you intrigued while you're reading it.

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