Sunday, 12 May 2013

Bookworm: The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult

It's funny I've not read anything by Jodi Picoult for a little while now and have been saying her books were getting a bit samey for me.

Nowadays I tend to download and read books on my Kindle. Randomly I'd been sent a voucher (as part of a selection) to get money off this new offering from the American author and decided to give it a go.

If you like Picoult, but like me have been feeling like each book was becoming like the other, then this new tale is the one for you. 

This felt like an entirely different writer in the main. There's still the nod to typical features and styles seen in earlier books, but aside from this The Storyteller is so so different. It's refreshing.

The subject matter is not. In this fictional story (but based on a variety of real life snippets provided) we are presented with the topic of Nazi Germany, concentration camps and the hard hitting issue of forgiveness.

Three main characters feature. Josef - an elderly German man who claims to have been a former SS soldier and multiple murderer of Jews. Minka - an elderly Jewish women living in America who survived various concentration camps (including Auschwitz). Sage - the young woman who has never been close to her Jewish heritage, has had her own life battles and incidentally is Minka's granddaughter and becomes a friend of Josefs.

This book truly will have you hooked, I never wanted to put it down. It was hard as the more I read the sadder the tale became. Yet I just had to know what happened next. 

Picoult does well to give an insight into each of the main characters and combine her themes. As always descriptions are strong and you can capture in your head the area the people live in and the types of personalities involved. 

At times I even felt hungry reading the detailed and tempting descriptions of the delicious baked items Sage and Minka's father create. 

Good points
Something new and different from Picoult 
Addictive reading
Emotional tale
Fictional but based on real issues which makes it even more powerful 

Not so great
There were a few occasions that were a little 'convenient' and perhaps not the most realistic of situations 
Wasn't too sure if the secondary story and extracts from it were needed/useful 

Well I've been wanting something different from Picoult and this surely delivers that. I'm just sad now to be finished. I'm not a fan of hardbacks either and this book won me round there too. I was too engrossed to worry about the heaviness/awkwardness in holding it. In addition, right now I've needed something to lose myself in and switch off and this book was ideal. 

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