I finished reading The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult yesterday on my cruise.
Sage Singer befriends an old man who's particularly beloved in her community. Josef Weber is
everyone's favorite retired teacher and Little League coach. They strike up a friendship at the bakery where Sage works. One day he asks Sage for a favor: to kill him. Shocked, Sage refuses…and then he confesses his darkest secret - he deserves to die, because he was a Nazi SS guard. Complicating the matter? Sage's grandmother is a Holocaust survivor.
What do you do when evil lives next door? Can someone who's committed a truly heinous act ever atone for it with subsequent good behavior? Should you offer forgiveness to someone if you aren't the party who was wronged? And most of all - if Sage even considers his request - is it murder, or justice?
I've read all of the books by Jodi Picoult so far and loved almost every one so I couldn't wait to read this one. But I had such I hard time with it. Jodi Picoult's books always deal with moral choices, as did this one. But it was about such a serious topic. I've always been intersted in the Holocaust. And that's what this book deals with. So I couldn't just plow through it like I normally do. It seemed like it was almost more of a non-fiction book and those take time for me to read.
Sage was only okay to me. She was a loner and honestly, I never really got that into her. But I really liked Leo. He was perfect for Sage and his humor cracked me up.
And you know what? I know that the Holocaust was truly horrifying. I've done so much studying on it but there was a part of me that felt bad for Josef Weber. And I was conflicted. On one hand, I thought Sage was too cruel to such an old man who wanted forgiveness. But on the other hand, I didn't want him to seem like such a nice old guy. I wanted him to seem more like the monster that he seemed to be during the war.
And the grandmother--reading her account of what she went through was gut wrenching and horrifying. So much so that I can't say that I enjoyed this book. Like I said before, yes, its fiction, but it just read too real for me. And I need a difference in my books.
I gave this book a rating of 3/5.
This book fulfills items in the following
2013 150+ Reading Challenge: 20
2013 Mammoth Book Challenge: 2
*FTC Disclosure: I traded this book with a friend.