Saturday, October 5, 2013

Review: The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult

Summary: Sage Singer befriends an old man who's particularly beloved in her community. Josef Weber is everyone's favorite retired teacher and Little League coach. They strike up a friendship at the bakery where Sage works. One day he asks Sage for a favor: to kill him. Shocked, Sage refuses…and then he confesses his darkest secret - he deserves to die, because he was a Nazi SS guard. Complicating the matter? Sage's grandmother is a Holocaust survivor.

What do you do when evil lives next door? Can someone who's committed a truly heinous act ever atone for it with subsequent good behavior? Should you offer forgiveness to someone if you aren't the party who was wronged? And most of all - if Sage even considers his request - is it murder, or justice?

Kim's Review: When I stumbled across this book in Half Price Books, it was missing the hardcover sleeve, so I had no idea what the actual plot of the story was. I am a fan of Jodi Picoult's novels, however, so I figured it was worth a shot! I'm not sure what I expected, but it certainly was not a story about a ninety year old former Nazi who asks a young baker to kill him.

However, I did really love this book. Stories revolving around the Holocaust, fictional or not, are in no shortage, but this book showed the perspectives of not only the victims, but also the Nazis themselves, those who "hunt" them, and the descendants of those survivors. All of the different perspectives was an interesting change to what I'm used to reading in these kinds of books. There were a lot of twists and turns that left me screaming at the page, especially towards the end. Before this book I had not read one of Picoult's novels in a while, but I never would have expected her to create a story like this one. She does a beautiful job, though, and I was on the edge of my seat to find out what would happen.

This is not a YA book (my apologies), but I would still highly recommend not only this book but any of Picoult's novels. She is one of my favorite authors and this book reinforced that for me. I'm excited to see what her other books have in store for me!

(4.5/5 stars)

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