Sunday, April 14, 2013

Book Review - The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult

The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult

I have read a couple of Picoult books before - one I really liked (My Sister's Keeper) and one was just okay (The Pact). The premise of this one, about a Nazi SS guard asking the protagonist to help him die because of his past, seemed intriguing.  I was curious to see how Picoult would take on this topic, as there are already many very well-done WWII stories.

I was sucked into the story from the beginning, but the middle of the book, when the protagonist's grandma started telling her story, was slow. It dragged on and on and I couldn't wait till that part ended. It shouldn't make me feel this way because this section should make me feel really emotional - now don't get me wrong, there are definitely some graphic scenes (how could there not be? We're talking about WWII here!) - but the way it was written just seemed so flat.

I did like the ending, which as you'd expect from Picoult, had a twist. So at least it ended well. It made you think about what you'd do if you were the protagonist. I also liked the multiple POV (the protagonist, her grandmother, the horror story the grandmother wrote, and a Nazi hunter).  But at 480 pages it really could be edited down to speed up the pace.

A WWII story from recent years that I really liked is  Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys. I learned something new about WWII that I hadn't read before (which wasn't the case for the Storyteller), and the story just really touched me (kleenex please.)

A quote I did like from this book, upon the protagonist seeing her grandmother's mastectomy scars when she was child:

My grandmother smiled, and that was all it took for me to stop seeing the scar, and toe recognize her again. "yes," she said. "But see how much of me is left?"

3 Stars - would be higher if it was cut down to 300 pages or so. 

Note - The book was borrowed from the library.

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