'Picoult writes with an all-knowing and piercing eye. Hers is an important book from a talented writer we hope to hear from again and again.' - Library Journal
A woman wakes to find herself lying on top of a grave, her face pressed close to the headstone. She is hurt and bleeding, and her memory has been wiped clean - not only does she not know what she is doing there, but she does not even know who she is.
She is taken under the wing of William Flying Horse, LAPD and, after days of waiting, is taken by complete surprise when she is finally identified and collected by Alex Rivers, Hollywood movie star, and also her husband. Her name is Cassie Barrett, and she is a renowned archaeologist, who met Alex on a movie set in Africa.
Cassie is dazzled and bewildered by the life in which she suddenly finds herself - the fairytale Bel-Air mansion, all manner of fame and fortune, a successful career, the attentions of a handsome and doting husband. But everything is not quite right, and there is something dark and disturbing behind this glamorous life. It is only as her memory gradually returns that her picture perfect life comes crumbling down, and she is faced with a choice between fear and compassion.
This politically correct Hollywood romance leaves no plotting stone unturned. For her discovery of an ancient human relic, glamorous UCLA anthropologist Cassie Barrett is rocketed to the prominence of a '90s-style Margaret Mead. As if that's not enough, she goes to Kenya as technical consultant on a movie starring hunk-of-the-month Alex Rivers. After a whirlwind romance, Cassie becomes the new Mrs. Rivers, toast of filmdom's beautiful people. But all is not bliss for the newlyweds: Alex's tortured past just won't let go, and Cassie must bear the brunt of his emotional scars. Perhaps attempting to salvage the predictable plot, Picoult administers to Cassie's bland character a dose of adrenalin-pumping amnesia. She also throws in a dollop of Native American culture and a noble savage who skirts the periphery of Cassie's tumultuous existence, always ready with sage advice, spiritual healing techniques and warm embraces. Some rather prettily told Indian legends are added to the mix, but the total effect is wide of the mark. Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club selection; film rights to Dove Audio; audio rights to Brilliance.