Series: Stand Alone
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Historical Fiction
Format: Kindle e-Book
Date Finished: May 27, 2013
CoffeeNCrackers Rating: 5 Cups of Coffee
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? - Goodreads
I was blown away. That impression alone is enough to describe how great this book is. I am never disappointed by Jodi Picoult's novels and there is no exception for this one as well. It draws me to get lost in the story, brings me high and low, become engrossed with the narration, getting attached to the characters, breaks my heart to pieces, and in the end leaves me in a deep thinking.
"The Storyteller" is a story about "forgiveness" interwoven with the dark and traumatic secrets of the pasts. Basically, this book is written in three parts: Part I: Sage befriended Josef, an ex-Nazi SS guard, Part II: The story of Minka during the darkest time of her life, the Holocaust, and Part III: Sage's final decision and Josef's atonement. The second part of the book is the hardest part for me to get through, it is awful, mentally exhausting, and too tragic. However, it is my favorite part as well as Picoult plays with my emotion and at the same time enlighten me with the events happened during the Nazi era and the Holocaust through the eyes of Minka, a survivor. I was also intrigued with this book because there's also a spooky story within. I was scared, I was angry, I was happy, I was broken-hearten, throughout the story.
Not only the story is brilliantly executed, but the characters also are well developed. Sage, Minka, and Josef are three strong characters. Throughout the story I can see how Sage's evolved from a self-contained, isolated girl into a confident and beautiful person, Minka's willpower and courage to survive, and Josef's atonement of his sins. They are powerful and inspiring characters brought together by Picoult to make this story irresistible. Once the story ended, lots of "I wish.." things pop out in my mind. I wish Sage realized the truth sooner. I wish she did not kill Josef (spoiler), I wish Minka could meet Josef before she died, I wish Josef told sage everything, the real story, who he really was. But, things haven't always happened in the ways that we wish it should happen. Life is more complicated than that. That is what I have learned from "The Storyteller".
To forgive is not easy, and to forget is even harder. An amazing book is a book that we can take and learn something from it. Grab and read "The Storyteller" and your life will change. I truly recommended it to all readers out there.