The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult is actually the first book I have ever read of Picoult’s, so I had no bias, nothing to compare it to – just a new book to read. I had no idea what the book was going to be about. I was told “it is really good”, I loved the cover, knew friends who have really enjoyed her work, so I started reading it.
Reading The Storyteller I remembered what it felt like to be swept up by a novel again. To be honest, it had been a while since I’ve felt that way about a book, and this one pulled me in and reminded me why reading is so fantastic.
This novel has a few different voices that are woven together throughout the entire book. We see many different stories and how important they all are. Sage is a twenty-something who is desperately searching for who she is, without admitting to herself that is what she is doing. She is lost, and soon meets Josef, a kind old man who becomes a wonderful new friend. Until he asks something of her that makes her question everything about herself, who she is, and who Josef really is. Because of Josef’s request, Sage’s family history unravels as she speaks with her grandmother Minka and learns about Minka’s life before Sage. A life long, long ago during which Minka experienced first hand what it meant to be a Jew during the Holocaust. We see Minka’s story from the beginning, when everything first began to change in her world, and the world, and the heartbreaking tragedies that came with it.
We also saw the story of two German brothers who grew into the “duty of protecting their country, their race,” and what being a teenager during this time did to who they became later in life and during the war. The gruesome stories of death at their hands, and in a way, an explanation of how one could unleash the monster inside of them.
This story was so gripping and well written. Also, we were able to be inside different stories, different minds, and understand the Holocaust through these different outlets. We saw it through Sage, a young lady in today’s world, through Josef, a German solider, through Minka, and even through a character in Minka’s “story”. Also, the ending is not what I expected which I was happy about; I always love a good surprise.
The only thing that I wished this story could have done better is separate the voices more. In the beginning of the novel, especially, all the voices and POV’s sound like the same person, they weren’t distinct enough; it took time to grow into them.
I really enjoyed this novel, and I highly recommend it.