BOOK REVIEW: The Storyteller – by Jodi Picoult

brthestoryteller

Title: The Storyteller
Author: Jodi Picoult
Genre: Historical Fiction, Contemporary
First published: 2013
Finished reading: April 17th 2015
Pages: 460
Rating 4,5

“History isn’t about dates and places and wars. It’s about the people who fill the spaces between them.”

myrambles1review

The Storyteller ended up being a mix between contemporary and historical fiction, where part of the story is set in the present and the rest of the story during WWII. Jodi Picoult has even incorporated a fantasy story that is written by one of the main characters during the war… This story about a Polish upior (similar to a vampire) plays a big role in the survival of a Jewish girl named Minka and is one of the links to the scenes set in the present. Those contemporary scenes are probably my least favorite, but still I liked most of the main characters. Some of the less important ones were a bit unbelievable though, and that’s probably why I haven’t given The Storyteller the full five stars… But the scenes set during WWII are so well written that they make up for the weaker contemporary scenes. Jodi Picoult described the situation of Minka and her Jewish family so well that I actually had tears in my eyes at some point… And I do not cry easily when I’m reading.

shortsummary1review

Sage Singer doesn’t see herself as a Jew, but her grandmother Minka is a Holocaust survivor… Although she never talks about her experience. Sage had a car accident two years ago that left her with a scar on her face and without a mother… And she still struggles with her loss. To hide from society and her loss, Sage prefers to work night shifts at a local bakery. She normally tries to push people away, but one day she starts an unlikely friendship with an old retired teacher named Josef Weber. When they get to know each other a little better, he asks her for a huge favor: to help him kill himself. Sage is shocked, but Josef tries to get her to help him anyway by confessing his darkest secret: he was a Nazi SS guard during WWII, working in one of the death camps. Therefore, he deserves to die…

Sage first doesn’t believe him, but contacts the autorities anyway. The FBI has a special unit chasing old war criminals, and the guy in charge asks her to collect more information; forcing Sage to continue her friendship with Josef. As he starts telling more and more about his past, Sage doesn’t know if she can live with the horrible facts she now knows. How can she ever forgive a man who has done so many terrible things? And is she the right person to hand out that forgiveness? Her own grandmother is a Holocaust survivor; was she one of Josef’s victims?

finalthoughtsreview

The sappy romance scenes were quite annoying, but the rest of the story made up for it. The chapters set during WWII were written brilliantly and full of emotion. Jodi Picoult chose to write from both Josef’s and Minka’s point of view, which gives you a general impression of both ‘sides’ of the situation and the consequences of certain actions. The ending of The Storyteller is definitely unexpected, although it wasn’t a total surprise after Josef’s blood group was mentioned… The upior fantasy story is an unique touch to this historical holocaust testimony, and is probably one of the reasons why I gave this novel such a high rating. That and the WWII chapters… In short, this novel is perfect for those who enjoy reading historical fiction, as long as you don’t mind some sappy romance scenes and bakery talk. The main character Sage is a baker like some of her ancestors, and baking plays an important role in the story…

Advertisements

WWW Wednesdays #35 – April 15th

wwwwednesdaysOriginally featured at Should Be Reading and now hosted by Sam at Taking On A World Of Words, WWW WEDNESDAYS is still about answering the following three questions:

  • What are you currently reading?

thestorytellerI’ve finally picked up my copy of The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult yesterday. This novel was first chosen with the help of my TBR jar a while back, but at the time I wasn’t in the mood for a historical fiction read… I guess right now I am. 😉 I’m not too far into the story yet, but so far it’s definitely good. I will have to check out more of her work in the future if The Storyteller stays this good!

 

  • What did you recently finish reading?

redqueenandthentherewerenoneI managed to finish And Then There Were None yesterday, and I must say I instantly became an Agatha Christie fan. I don’t know how I’ve managed to not read her work for so long, but I will definitely be starting to read more of her novels in the future. I also finished Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard a few days ago. I was afraid this would be yet another overhyped book, but I ended up loving the story. Hopefully I won’t have to wait too long for the sequel! (Although the estimated publish date is set for 2016 and there isn’t even a title yet; sigh…)

  • What do you think you’ll read next?

evensongSince I will have only three months to complete my Ready For Spring Bingo chart, I decided to pay more attention to the empty squares when deciding my next reads. I picked Evensong by Krista Walsh for the Plants On Cover square… It’s an Amazon kindle freebie I found thanks to the BookBub page. Access at your own risk; this page is dangerous! 😉 Credit goes to Ashley @ Dear World… for first introducing me to that page… Make sure to check out her blog. 🙂

WWW Wednesdays #33 – April 1st

wwwwednesdaysOriginally featured at Should Be Reading and now hosted by Sam at Taking On A World Of Words, WWW WEDNESDAYS is still about answering the following three questions:

  • What are you currently reading?

ataleoftwocitiesI’m finally reading A Tale Of Two Cities by Charles Dickens! I know it took me long enough, and technically I had promised myself to read it in March… But at least I’ve finally started reading this classic, so that’s what counts right? 😉 I don’t have a proper opinion about it yet as I’ve only just started it, but I’m looking forward to find out if it lives up to expectations.

  • What did you recently finish reading?

theshockofthefallthehusbandssecretI didn’t manage to finish The Husband’s Secret last night, so this novel by Liane Moriarty will count as the first book I’ve finished in April. Very interesting read and plot twists! When I started reading I wasn’t sure I would like it, but I was quickly sucked into the story and ended up almost being unable to put it down. Full review coming soon… I’ve also finished The Shock Of The Fall by  Nathan Filer a few days ago, another novel I absolutely loved. Very strong image of a mental ilness patient and I loved the prose! Review still to come…

  • What do you think you’ll read next?

thestorytellerSince I have so so many new reads I’m super excited about, it’s impossible to choose what to read next. I’ve decided to use my TBR cup to see what title I would get… And I actually got my current read A Tale Of Two Cities first! A second draw got me The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult, not one of my newest additions, but still a book I’m looking forward to. Although I’m currently deciding what titles to put on my April TBR, so I might end up reading a completely different title first.

Friday Finds #9 – September 5th

fridayfinds

FRIDAY FINDS is originally featured at Should Be Reading and showcases the most interesting books I’ve encountered during the last week and have added to my neverending TBR list on Goodreads.  I know my list is already exploding with almost 300! titles, but I can’t help myself and don’t want to miss any potential treasures. So I’ve just accepted the TBR list will always be bigger than the amount of books I’ve read… Sigh. You can find a selection of my newest additions below:

My finds:

fridayfindssept5