Friday, December 13, 2013

The Storyteller

I have read quite a few of Jodi Picoult's books, and The Storyteller is one of her very best.  I could
hardly put it down!  I especially enjoy historical novels about either the Civil War or the Holocaust, so I was anxious to read The Storyteller as soon as I had seen what it was about.

The novel is divided into three parts, and each part is divided into narrations by several main characters. There are also parts through-out the novel of Sage's grandmother's writing.

Sage was a twenty-five year old baker who began attending a grief group following the death of her mother.  There she met Josef Weber, who was dealing with his wife's death.  Josef was a ninety-five year old retired high school German teacher who was well-respected in the community.  Sage and Josef became friends and as Josef began to trust Sage he shared a long-hidden secret with her, and asked her to help him die.

Josef's secret shook Sage's world.  Sage was a Jew who had pretty much let go of her religion.  Josef's secret and request forced her to consider forgiveness, retribution, life, and death.  Sage's grandmother, Minka, was a Holocaust survivor who had written about her time in the camps.  As Josef shares more with Sage, she decides to contact Leo, a Nazi hunter, to help her determine if all is as Josef has claimed, especially to learn if Josef is who he says he is.

The story was very touching and quite interesting.  Reading Minka's time compared to Josef's time offered an unique perspective to the Holocaust events.

"There are so many ways to betray someone.
You can whisper behind his back.
           You can deceive him on purpose.
           You can deliver him into the hands of his enemy, when he trust you.
            You can break a promise.
            The question is, if you do any of these things, are you also betraying yourself?" 

Good book, good story, good writing!

(Side note: this book hit number 1 on the New York Times Bestseller's List at the end of March 2013)

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