A couple months ago, my book club picked The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult. If you have ever read a book of hers, you will understand how powerful they can be. If you haven’t read one of her books, you definitely should. First, here’s what the book is about.
Some stories live forever . . .
Sage Singer is a baker. She works through the night, preparing the day’s breads and pastries, trying to escape a reality of loneliness, bad memories, and the shadow of her mother’s death. When Josef Weber, an elderly man in Sage’s grief support group, begins stopping by the bakery, they strike up an unlikely friendship. Despite their differences, they see in each other the hidden scars that others can’t, and they become companions.
Everything changes on the day that Josef confesses a long-buried and shameful secret—one that nobody else in town would ever suspect—and asks Sage for an extraordinary favor. If she says yes, she faces not only moral repercussions, but potentially legal ones as well. With her own identity suddenly challenged, and the integrity of the closest friend she’s ever had clouded, Sage begins to question the assumptions and expectations she’s made about her life and her family. When does a moral choice become a moral imperative? And where does one draw the line between punishment and justice, forgiveness and mercy?
In this searingly honest novel, Jodi Picoult gracefully explores the lengths we will go in order to protect our families and to keep the past from dictating the future.
Let me start by saying I didn’t finish this the month we were reading it for book club. I was so excited to read a Picoult book again because it had been a while. But it was really hard for me to get into at first. By about half way through, I was hooked. I didn’t want to put it down and I HAD to know what happened next. I don’t feel like I am giving much away by saying there are flashbacks to the holocaust. The flashbacks were truly the most moving and gripping parts of the novel and it wasn’t pretty. This book and the images are going to stay with me for a long time. It was haunting to read and imagine being there. Yet so compelling, I needed to know more.
If you like Jodi Picoult, I think you’ll really enjoy this one as well. If you haven’t read one by her before, this might not be the best one to start with unless you are curious about the holocaust. It was a little slow moving at the beginning, so one of her others might be a better fit for a first time read.
Overall, I think you should definitely read this at some point. It wouldn’t be my pick for a beach read because I like those to be a little more “fluffy”. And I couldn’t read this one right before bed (I had some terrible dreams the one time I did that!). But the topic and depth of the story is something I would urge people to read.