27 Sept 2013



SOURCE: Borrowed from a friend.

Sage Singer has a past that makes her want to hide from the world. Sleeping by day and working in a bakery by night, she kneads her emotion into the beautiful bread she bakes.

But when she strikes up an unlikely friendship with Josef Weber, a quiet well-respected man old enough to be her grandfather, she may have found someone she can open up to.

Until Josef tells her the evil secret he's kept for sixty years.

Caught between Josef's search for redemption and her shattered illusions, Sage turns to her own family for answers. As she uncovers the truth from the darkest horrors of war, she must follow a twisting trail between betrayal and forgiveness, love and revenge. And ask herself the most difficult question she has ever faced - can murder ever be justice? Or mercy?
....... Outer back cover.

FIRST SENTENCE: My father trusted me with the details of his death.

MEMORABLE MOMENT (Page 255): The ghetto was a ghost town. We were a beaten, gray stream of workers who did not want to remember our past and did not think we had a future. There was no laughter, no hopscotch remaining. No hair ribbons or giggles. No color or beauty left behind.

MY THOUGHTS: Having heard that The Storyteller, the story of what happens when elderly Josef Weber, believing he deserves to die because of his past as a Nazi guard, asks the somewhat reclusive Sage Singer to end his life, saw a change of direction for author Jodi Picoult I eagerly delved into this her latest novel. 

In some ways different from what I had come to expect from Picoult. Despite the multiple narrators, a damaged heroine, the unlikely lovers, a tough decision and the big reveal left until the final pages (which incidentally I saw coming long before then) I certainly didn't find this quite as formulaic as her previous novels which was a welcome relief but alas and rather surprisingly given its Holocaust theme which normally fascinates me neither did I find it as gripping.

Too long and with certain elements drawn out to the point I became bored, whilst I thought for the main part The Storyteller was an average enough read with Picoult's research as thorough as ever I just didn't find it an exceptional one. 

As for the supernatural/Gothic fairytale addition to the story which took the form of excerpts from a book written by Sage's Holocaust survivor grandmother, Minka. Hmm, if I were to be totally cynical I'd argue its inclusion was merely a nod towards the popularity of the paranormal genre.

As always an emotional read, thought provoking and informative, I'm just not convinced by the sub-plots and think there are better Holocaust novels out there. 

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Kelly said...

I've yet to read anything by this author and I don't think I'll start with this one. Seems like I have one of hers on my wish list at Amazon, but can't remember the title.

brandileigh2003 said...

Sounds good, but not like her best

Shooting Stars Mag said...

I like Jodi's books, but I haven't read one in awhile. I like the main premise, but sounds like the sub-plots are a bit unnecessary.

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

I've been wanting to read a book by this author but I can see how it failed for you. I may try a different one first. Great review.

So many books, so little time said...

Aw I have this and a few others on my tbr. I have read mixed reviews on this one, I really do need to bump it up my list. Thanks for reviewing

Lainy http://www.alwaysreading.net

The Bookworm said...

I wonder if I'd like this. I definitely want to read this author.

Suko said...

Tracy, I always count on you for honest reviews. No exception in this case--thanks!

Trac~ said...

Hi friend. Just wanted to stop by and say hello. Hope all is well your way! Miss you! Xoxoxox

ashok said...

good review

Betty Manousos said...

i am just not sure i want to read this one, but i really love the cover.
yet another wonderfully brilliant review, tracy.

hope you're having a nice weekend.

big hugs!

Stephanie@Fairday's Blog said...

I have seen this one around- but I had no idea what it was about. I am curious about how it is different from her previous works. Thanks for sharing!

Karen said...

I've read a few books by Picoult and I always feel the same way.

I like that she addresses controversial subject matters and they are thought provoking but somehow fall flat in the end for me.