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The Storyteller: Book Review


I will not call Sage, the main character in the book, a heroine. Her lack of perfection is simplistic and freeing in one sense, and her adamancy against changing her ways is morally corrupt in another. Again and again, Picoult raises a question. Are these characters monsters, good people in difficult situations, or just fundamentally human? Or are they all of these?

Some stories weave a complicated web of intrigue. The Storyteller is a labyrinth, an intricate maze with winding turns you follow with each character in turn. The click-click boots of the Nazi characters, the slow shuffle of an old woman and what once was, the inquisitive footfalls of a young woman, the eager stride of a career-orientated man, and the long, trailing skirts of the dead beat your pulse to an alarming rate. When you reach the middle of the maze, you'll find there is no traditional resolution; just the choices of the characters, and a wondering emptiness.

Entrancing in its story, complicated in its plot, and as deep as a river channel in its characters, I loved reading this book.

Jodi Picoult words fall like water: sometimes steamy drizzles to turn your face up to. sometimes downpours to send you to your knees.

I thought it was reflective and fascinating. Because one of the characters was a Jew during the Holocaust and one is a former Nazi, there are a few descriptions of violence. I don't normally like books where a character is shot in the head. But I also think that the Holocaust is such an important subject that we need to read about it, face it's horror, and make sure it never happens again. So I'm alright with the brief descriptions of violence in this one. This book isn't explicit, but the reader should be aware that a character is sleeping with a married man at the beginning of the book.

One other major theme in The Storyteller is religion. Sage's best friend, Mary, is Catholic and Sage has strong Jewish roots. We do learn that Sage is an atheist, however. I think this was probably the main reason I didn't rate this book five stars. I'm a Christian so I just didn't like the message that the author was sending by saying that the main character didn't believe in God and that it was great. I didn't like the way Picoult glorified atheism. The emptiness at the end matched the message though.

Altogether, I loved this read! This book is almost like watching someone else's life through a window you can't help seeing your reflection in.

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