21 May, 2013

Book Review - The Storyteller

From Goodreads: 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?

Thoughts: To tell you the truth, after the last couple of Picoult's books, I've been tempted to give up on them, but this latest one has gone some way to restoring my faith. In this Picoult seems to be back to her best. I think it's partly because there are no mother issues for me in this one. 
Sage Singer is the grand daughter of a holocaust survivor who meets and befriends an elderly man called Josef. AS the friendship continues, he asks Sage to help him die - something he feels he deserves for his role as a soldier in the SS during World War II.
It's hard to discuss this book without giving too much away. Needless to say, if you have been feeling disillusioned with Picoult, this may be worth the read. It is in no way perfect, but it's closer to what I use to feel about her work than I have recently. There is, of course, the trademark twist at the end - in fact there is two - one I picked, one I didn't. I felt the romance between Sage and the man who worked for the Justice Department to track down and prosecute Nazi's (see, I can't even remember his name!) was pointless and added nothing to the story -  it was simply there because I story apparently must have a romance. What I am pleased to say is that this surprised me and I will now be more willing to pick up a Picoult book.