After Easter dinner some friends and I went to the book store Brookline Smith, if you live in Boston it is one of those local places most people love. I like going because they have a great used book section and they usually have a good collection of $5 books. I love books but my budget is better suited for checking books out of the library.
Any way, I was drawn to this book, The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult, I have never read one of her books though I know she has written a lot. I had kind of casted her off as airport bookstore author; you know one making the top sellers list but books lack substance (sorry I might be a book snob). Going back to my story, I was drawn to the book about a baker, Sage who tries to hide away from the world, and her unlikely friendship with an older man, who has a dark secreted past. This drew me and the fact that it was called The Storyteller, made me wonder why the title and what was going to happen.
I thought after reading The Nightingale (link to book blurb) that this would be a good light read... however this was not a light read at all. I was too far in when I discover the older guy, Josef Weber, was a former Nazi SS Guard (Goodread.com states this, so I don't feel this is a spoiler). "Ugh!" I thought to myself, I had just read a book that left me breathless with Nazis and now this book has Nazis. "What is the book universe trying to tell me?" There were moments in the book we went into Josef's past and had I not been on the T, I would have cried.
Before I rehash those details and give spoilers away, I will say over all it was great story. I liked because it was written almost from 5 different view points. There is Sage Singer, who is trying to block out the world after her mother's death. There is Sage's grandmother, who is a survivor of the Holocaust, Josef the Nazi, Leo the federal agent who is trying to find out if Josef is truly a Nazi guard and then their is a tale woven through of Ania and Alek. The book actually starts off with Ania's story... "My father trusted me with the details of his death" is the first line of the whole book and that chapter ends with "My father trusted me withe the details of his death... but in the end, I was too late." I was impressed Picoult was able to weave these five different narratives to make a good story, I have always wanted to write a multi-narrative story so when I find that is well written it is awesome. I liked how the book gave each one of these characters different type so you knew who it was in reading their words.
Also there were other great lines, in the book about telling stories and discovering what sharing your story truly means. As a aspiring author I found those lines to be great and I wish I could have underlined them. There is one line that I loved and took a picture of it with my phone... "History isn't about dates and places and wars. It's about the people who fill the spaces in." As someone who studied history and is frequently teased about loving history I want to remember this quote.
Though you don't have to be a historian or a wanna-be-novelist to appreciate this book.
The only thing I did not like about this book was there were moments it felt a little too rushed. For example Sage calls Leo about the Josef being a former Nazis and he seems to be able to work a little too quickly for it be practical (kind of like a crime solving show where DNA test happen instantly). But mostly it was the violence that affected me the most, and even though it is a work of fiction, knowing that it is based on reality and this violence truly did occur left me a little heart broken.
Currently looking forward to some lighter reading.