THE STORYTELLER by JODI PICOULT.
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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