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The Storyteller - Jodi Picoult

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Author: Jodi Picoult / Format: Hardback / Date of publication: 26 March 2013 / Genre: Modern & Contemporary Fiction / Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton General Division / Title: The Storyteller / ISBN 13: 9781444766639 / ISBN 10: 1444766639

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    6 Reviews
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      06.03.2014 10:53
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      excellent book

      this book is very useful for anyone for this this book is very useful for anyone for this
      this book is very useful for anyone for this this book is very useful for anyone for this
      this book is very useful for anyone for this
      this book is very useful for anyone for this this book is very useful for anyone for this
      this book is very useful for anyone for this this book is very useful for anyone for this this book is very useful for anyone for this this book is very useful for anyone for this this book is very useful for anyone for this this book is very useful for anyone for this this book is very useful for anyone for this this book is very useful for anyone for this this book is very useful for anyone for this this book is very useful for anyone for this this book is very useful for anyone for this

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      24.02.2014 21:34
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      a thoroughly thought-provoking novel exploring the good and evil in mankind

      I have been a fan of Jodi Picoult from the first novel of hers that I read. There comes a point when you can't imagine what subject matter an author is going to pick next, and then they surprise you with something so gripping that you just can't put the book down.

      This time, Picoult has written a deep and thought-provoking novel about one of the most horrific times in recent history - the Holocaust. She weaves a modern day story in with a story from that time, and managed to teach me things I'd never known about the Holocaust whilst still providing a thoroughly gripping journey.

      This breaks away from some traditions typically found in Picoult novels - the culmination of the story in a courtroom, with 2 sides thrashing out what's right and wrong in a world of good and evil. Whilst those things certainly come to the forefront in her latest endeavour, it is in an entirely different and most refreshing way.

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        15.01.2014 21:54
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        A wonderful book.

        Jodi Picoult's books have been condemned as formulaic of late - they all end up in a courtroom and you just know what's coming. What I liked about this book, and why I would definitely recommend it and have done so to many, is its originality - the wonder that an author into her 23rd novel can write so wonderfully and so freshly.

        It takes a subject that is still very controversial just a few decades after its incidence - the Holocaust - and examines the questions that still are of contention today. Who has the right to judge those who committed unspeakable crimes against humanity? Does anyone? Who has the right to address these crimes? Should the criminals, many extremely elderly, still be arrested and put to trial for their crimes? And she does this all so skilfully, so beautifully, and so movingly that this becomes one of the best books I have ever read.

        It's a book also that is not limited to its major theme: it's a book about writing, about lost opportunity, and the bonds between family.

        It's about primarily two women: Sage Singer, and her grandmother Minka. It is their two voices which carry the novel, spanning a modern era and the Holocaust. If you dislike the change in time period and pace mid-way through a novel, then perhaps this is not the book for you. If however any book was going to convince you of the harrowing power such a shift can have when written well, trust me it would be this one.

        Sage is confronted with Josef Weber: an elderly man who purports to be a Nazi SS guard, and asks Sage whom he knows to be Jewish, to kill him. The rest is handled skilfully by Picoult.

        If you wish to read any contemporary fictional book about the Holocaust - this must surely be your choice.

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          08.07.2013 16:43
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          a thoroughly enjoyable read

          I have read all of jodi picoults books and this is definitely one of her best. The two stories that are woven together are equally as interesting and both draw you in to make this book impossible to put down. It is slightly different from her usual style in that it doesn't end up in a court room and although there is some crime element to it, it is not the main focus as it is in her other books. It doesn't he famous jodi picoult twist at the end and I wasn't able to guess this particular one. I have recommended this book to many of my family and friends and enjoyed the fact that I actually learnt some historical information as well as enjoying the story. It follows a similar pattern to many of her books with sections told by different characters points of view but then flow between them is smooth.

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            16.06.2013 13:34
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            Powerful and moving, you won't put it down

            This is the second Jodi Picoult book I have read and I must say it made me want to go on and read every one of her books. It is not an easy book to read due to the subject matter and the graphic descriptions given of the Holocaust, however it is well written and absolutely gripping. I found that I couldn't put it down and was reading it at every spare moment even to the point of snatching a few pages whilst stirring something in the kitchen.

            The book has several main characters and the story weaves from person to person, with each one giving their own version of telling their story. I have read books where this is the case and you have to keep referring back to what the person said or did previously to be clear which character they are, however this book flows beautifully and the characters are so diverse that it is easy to skip from one person to the next.

            Sage is Jewish born and has not had an easy life, she is badly scarred by a terrible accident and the death of her mother and is a loner, working by night as a baker. She attends a grief counselling group which is where she meets a retired German teacher Josef Weber who she befriends and feels she has found someone to properly talk to, as she does not have many friends. She feels she has a connection with Josef, however he confesses to her that he was a Nazi sixty years ago having committed numerous atrocities, and he asks Sage to help him to die, as he cannot live with the memories of his past and what he did.

            Sage is caught between varying emotions and feelings and tries to find the answers with her grandmother Minka who is a Holocaust survivor and a very strong character, who Sage looks to for guidance and direction. Minka's account of her Holocaust experience is one of the best parts of the story, it is shockingly graphic but gives the reader a full understanding of the horrors of war. Sage has to look deeply within herself to choose whether she can forgive Josef for his past or whether her beliefs and values will allow her to do so.

            As with other Jodi Picoult novels there is a twist at the end which does stick with you for a long time after finishing the book. I think most people will figure it out at the beginning of part 3 but it is still a surprise when you find out for sure. All in all, a compelling, revealing and gripping book which is extremely well researched and uncovers the truth from the horrors of war to the current day.

            I highly recommend this book, it will make you cry at times but is such a powerful story it is well worth the read.

            The book was first published in America in 2013 by Atria Books, followed by being published in England by Hodder & Stoughton in March 2013. It is available with Amazon for £8.07 for the Kindle, £8.49 for hardback and £7.99 for the paperback.

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            12.04.2013 22:47
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            A harrowing yet compulsive story about the Holocaust

            The Storyteller was just an utterly amazing book, and I would agree with all of those people who say it is her best novel to date. As usual, Picoult courts a quite controversial topic as the main storyline of her book, this time choosing to write about the Holocaust. There should be no adult out there who is going to read this book who doesn't know anything about the Holocaust, so writing about something based in fact within a fictional novel was always going to be quite a challenge. It has to believable and state the facts that happen, but also include the fictional story as well. I was completely impressed by Picoult's retelling, and as a person who used to be a history buff, particularly the time of Hitler and the Nazi's, I was curious to see how much I would enjoy this book.

            It tells the tale of Sage Singer, a young woman who has been damaged in her life, and now lives a very quiet and reclusive life as a talented baker for her friend's small town bakery. She still attends a grief counselling group after the loss of her mother, and makes a friend there called Josef. Josef is a pillar of the community, always helping out at school football games, and other areas of town life. But when Josef reveals a shocking and horrifying truth to Sage about his past, she's not sure if she can ever get past what he's told her - Josef was an officer in the SS and part of the Holocaust. Being part of a Jewish family, Sage struggles to deal with it and what to do, and turns to her grandmother Miska for advice. Will she be able to forgive Josef for his past?

            This book is enormous, at over 500 pages it's a book you need to get into for the long haul because once you start reading it, you won't want to stop. It begins in the present day, with Sage's life and going some way to explaining why she is how she is, and the introduction of Josef. There's actually multiple narrators for the book, but this was easy to follow as they are all introduced, and have very different ways of telling their story. I enjoyed finding out about Sage, but I have to say I was excited for it to really get going and find out how Sage was going to react when Josef revealed his past to her. Of course, it didn't disappoint, and Picoult writes these scenes so brutally and honestly, you feel the same disgust and shock that Sage does, and I couldn't fathom how to deal with what he did.

            As the book progresses, we meet Sage's grandmother, a Polish woman named Minka. She's haunted by her past life in Nazi Germany and what happened there, but when it comes time to tell her own tale, it is more shocking than you could ever contemplate. It's amazing how believably Picoult writes this story - everything is just horrifying to read and you cannot comprehend the fear and horror that these poor people went through, not only in the horrible concentration camps such as Auschwitz but in their homes too, working through fear and literally for their lives. Miska's narration paints a very bleak picture, and I frequently found myself in tears over the things that went on. It was uncomfortable to read in parts, but I could not stop reading, it was just compulsive and I had to see how it all ended.

            Picoult's descriptions of life within the camps are very graphic and not for the feint-hearted, I imagine many will find these scenes upsetting, and it's even worse to think that people really had to live through these terrible atrocities that took place. Picoult has clearly done such deep research, and that cannot have been easy in itself, hearing people's real life stories of their own experiences. This is weaved so well with what happens with Sage and Josef within the book, and I have to say I was constantly wondering what Sage would do, it isn't obvious and I loved that about the book, it's so unpredictable. There is a bit of a shock towards the ending, along with a mysterious story that pops up throughout the book and it all draws you so far in, not wanting it to end yet at the same time wanting the horror to stop.

            I honestly cannot recommend The Storyteller highly enough. It is most certainly Picoult's best novel to date, and as I've read nearly everything she's ever written, I feel well placed to be able to say that. Yes, it is a tough subject to write about and certainly a raw one to read about too, but it also gets you thinking. Not only about what Minka and the other Jewish people went through in those terrible times, but also about Sage's dilemma - should she forgive Josef for his past actions, and grant him the relief of her forgiveness? Or does someone like Josef who commited such evils deserve to die with the burden of what he did? I would like to think I could never forgive someone who committed such atrocities, but Picoult writes it so well you are left wondering what Sage is going to do. I loved every single page, and I know it's a book I will be reading again, simply because it is so, so good. Amazing. Read it now, you won't be disappointed. I wasn't.

            ISBN: 978-1444766639. Published by Hodder & Stoughton on 26th March 2013. RRP: £12.99. Also available as an eBook.

            Thank you for reading, and to the publishers for sending me a copy to review for http://chicklitchloe.blogspot.com

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