Reviewsday: The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult

9781743318690

Escaping her past by throwing herself enthusiastically into her position as a baker, the quiet hours of the early mornings are Sage Singer’s constant companion. She leads a simple, solitary life and that’s the way she likes it, until she unwittingly befriends one of her elderly neighbours, the beloved Josef Webber, retired teacher, Little League coach and friend to all.

What begins as a shared love of baked goods and an appreciation for the simpler things in life soon takes a sinister turn, for Josef has a story to tell, one he believes that he deserves to die for, and he wants Sage to help him. Shocked, Sage refuses, but curiousity gets the better of her. She needs to know what could be so terrible, so unspeakably evil, about the quiet, kind old man. She agrees to hear his story, the truth Josef has hidden all of his life, but nothing in Sage’s darkest nightmares could have prepared her for what she hears… a story that starts with a simple photograph pressed into her hands: a much younger Josef, smiling and dressed in the uniform of an SS guard.

The Storyteller is a complex web of intertwined stories that will take you breath away. There’s a unique melding of past and present, of justice and despicable crimes, but the most impressive thing about this novel is the rich, tangible emotions that drip from every words. I’ve never felt the urge to read any other Jodi Picoult novels but something about this one drew me and I’m glad I picked it up because it was a fascinating, intense, bittersweet read that I’ll definitely revisit over and over.