The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult
What’s it about?
A 95-year old former Nazi war criminal, Josef Weber, confesses his past to a local baker, Sage Singer. Josef is a former teacher and a community icon. Sage struggles to believe his confession in light of the life he has lived in America. Josef not only wants her forgiveness; he wants Sage to help him die.
What did it make me think about?
I read "In Paradise" ,by Peter Matthiessen, last summer and it made me wonder about books written about the holocaust. Is the evil seen in any type of genocide so horrendous that books can never do it justice? Do these stories provide enough of a glimpse to remind us that tremendous evil can happen in the world at the hands of ordinary people?
Should I read it?
Jodi Piccoult takes different topics and weaves them into interesting stories that hold your attention. Sometimes her books seem simplified and formulaic but they always shed light on an interesting subject of moral dilemma. I do see the appeal her books hold for many readers. If you are interested in this time in history and want a quick, page turner that will make you pause then this book is for you.
"My husband- your grandfather- used to say, Minka,you were a writer. Imagine the story you could tell.
But it is exactly because I was a writer that I could never do it.
The weapons an author had at her disposal are flawed. There are words that feel shapeless and overused. Love, for example. I could write the word love a thousand times and it would mean a thousand different things to different readers.
What is the point of trying to put down on paper emotions that are too complex, too huge,too overwhelming to be confined by an alphabet?
Love isn't the only word that fails.
Hate does, too.
And hope. Oh, yes, hope.
So you see, this is why I never told my story.
If you lived through it, you already know there are no words that will ever come close to describing it.
And if you didn't, you will never understand."
Do stories ever do genocide justice?
If you liked this try:
Stones from the River by Ursula Hegi
Every Man Dies Alone by Hans Fellada
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Love & Treasure by Ayelet Waldman
In Paradise by Peter Matthiessen
6 1/2 stars
best of spring/summer 2017
best of winter
best of summer 2014
last spring favorites
on my nightstand
edge of your seat
― Charles William Eliot
3 to 4- I found some aspect of this book redeeming but would not recommend it.
5 to 6- I really enjoyed something about this book (characters, plot, meaning etc.) but it was uneven. Some aspects were stronger than others.
7 to 8- It was a good book. I liked lots of aspects of this book. I would recommend it.
9 to 10- I was sorry to turn the last page. I highly recommend this book!