Monday, March 11, 2013

Jodi Picoult's "Storyteller"

I really have no words to describe how totally amazing I think this book is. It took me a little longer than usual to get into it, but it was totally worth it.

       Some stories live forever . . .
Sage Singer is a baker. She works through the night, preparing the day’s breads and pastries, trying to escape a reality of loneliness, bad memories, and the shadow of her mother’s death. When Josef Weber, an elderly man in Sage’s grief support group, begins stopping by the bakery, they strike up an unlikely friendship. Despite their differences, they see in each other the hidden scars that others can’t, and they become companions.
Everything changes on the day that Josef confesses a long-buried and shameful secret—one that nobody else in town would ever suspect—and asks Sage for an extraordinary favor. If she says yes, she faces not only moral repercussions, but potentially legal ones as well. With her own identity suddenly challenged, and the integrity of the closest friend she’s ever had clouded, Sage begins to question the assumptions and expectations she’s made about her life and her family. When does a moral choice become a moral imperative? And where does one draw the line between punishment and justice, forgiveness and mercy?

So Sage thinks she is an awful person, but you don't find out why til later in the book. She hides behind baking bread at night so that people don't see her scars.  She meets Josef at a grief counseling support group. They become friends, but apparently he is just using her. Josef was an SS officer during WW II and he thought that because Sage's family were Jewish, that she was to. He wants her to forgive him his sins for what he did during WW II and then help him die. He is horribly guilt ridden and thinks that God is punishing him by making him live.. He has survived cancer twice, a car accident and more. He feels he cannot die. 

Sage decides to go to the authorities with Josef's story. She doesn't feel that, as a non practicing Jew, that she has the right to forgive Josef, but thinks he needs to be punished for his crimes.  

The best part of this story, though, is Sage's grandmother Minka. Minka is a survivor of Auschwitz. Picoult narrates Minka's story, from how life was before WW II, to how life was living in a concentration camp. I get chills when I think about it.

And the ending will surprise you, but its not one of her horribly tragic endings!! So, my suggestion.. read it!! It was amazing!

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