“The Pact” reveals how wrong romance can go

Jodi Picoult delivers another heart wrenching story in “The Pact.” Picoult tells the story of two

young teenagers, Chris and Emily, who were raised at a young age to believe that they would be

together, forever. The young lovers’ relationship seems to be perfect, until the night that Emily is

found dead in Chris’s arms. Both families’ worlds are turned upside down when the investigation

of Emily’s murder goes viral and all of the evidence points to Chris as the murderer.

The story is told through Emily and her parents, Melanie and Michael Gold, and Chris and his

parents, Augustus and James Harte. The novel is split between the present and past. In between

present developments, there are flashbacks to when the Gold’s and Harte’s first met, Emily and

Chris’s early childhood, the beginning of Emily and Chris’s romantic relationship and the

months leading up to Emily’s death.

Through the flashbacks, the reader can see how Emily and Chris were raised together as if they

were siblings, but then were expected by their parents to develop a romantic relationship once

they got older. Chris truly loves Emily and plans to marry her, whereas Emily is secretly

confused about her feelings towards Chris and is also struggling with depression.

In the present day, Chris is held in prison to wait his trial, while the Gold’s and Harte’s

friendships are destroyed by Emily’s death and what it implies.

Picoult delivers another story that forces the reader to question the differences between what is

right and wrong. “The Pact” approaches the sensitive issue of depression and suicide, showing

the reader that it is not an easy subject to understand or control. The novel also touches on the

adult pressures placed on young children and what effects they have later. After reading this

thought-provoking novel, the reader is left with the idea that not everything is as it appears and

not everyone is who he or she pretends to be.

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