The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult review

(6 ratings)
Storyteller Jodi Picoult

What's The Storyteller about?

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 man old enough to be her grandfather, and respected pillar of the community, she feels that finally, she may have found someone she can open up to. Until Josef tells her the evil secret he's kept for sixty years.

goodtoknow says...

Jodi Picoult never just teeters of the edge of emotion, she dives right in with both feet. In her latest book, it's the topic of forgiveness that gets a thorough examination. Set in present day America, but intertwined with a series of recollections of wartime Poland, Picoult takes you on an emotional journey back into the lives of people affected by World War Two in its most extreme form: a Jewish girl in Auchwitz and a Nazi SS guard stationed there.

The telling of the various characters' stories blends perfectly with the present day prose but there is another tale that feeds throughout, Sage's grandmother's vampire plot which didn't quite work for us. While we can see what Picoult was trying to achieve, it felt a bit like a dimension too many to take in and we often found ourselves flicking back several chapters to remember what had happened the last time we delved into that tale.

Overall, we enjoyed it. It wasn't full of surprises, and we can't say the twist at the end was a huge surprise, but the characters were interesting and we enjoyed going with them on their journey.

Rating: 7/10
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Publish Date: 26th March 2013

If you like this, you'll love: Don't Want to Miss a Thing by Jill Mansell

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Where to next?
- More reviews in the goodtoknow Book Club
- Me Before You by JoJo Moyes
- Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

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I have to admit that I began reading this book with a huge amount of trepidation. Would I be able to cope with the very emotive subjects covered being my biggest question. Thanks to Jodi Picoult’s very clever style of writing, the answer was most definitely yes. There are times during the book where you do actually have to stop and remind yourself that, although you are reading a piece of fiction, the horrific atrocities that take place in the book DID actually happen to innocent people. Although it seems strange to say that you enjoyed a book about such a difficult time in history, I really did and found it compulsive reading. I lost myself so much through the middle of the book, during the grandmother's recollections, that I actually came close to physically jumping when I came back to present day events as I'd forgotten that was how the book began! I enjoyed the grandmother's vampire plot too and didn’t find that it distracted from the storyline - in fact it ended up, very cleverly, being the whole basis for the book. Jodi Picoult is an amazing storyteller herself, with an excellent gift of making the reader understand situations from the point of view of all of her main characters, leaving you feeling sympathy for those whom you would assume were just monsters from the outset of her book. In the book she says "sometimes words are not big enough to contain all the feelings you are trying to pour into them", but I think in this case she's done a fine job of it herself.

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