I didn’t realize I picked up another Holocaust book when I bought The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult. I’ve still not shaken the last World War II book I read, Those Who Save Us, and wouldn’t have started this one so soon had I realized the subject. The back of the book doesn’t mention exactly what “secret” the main character wrestles with so I was clueless.
But once I realized this was a Holocaust book, I was too far in and couldn’t stop.
Sage is a twenty-five-year-old baker. She works through the night making delicious breads and pastries and then heads home to sleep just as the world is waking up. Her life is lonely and solitaire, just the way she likes it. She ventures out for grief group once a week and meets her married boyfriend when he has the time. She thinks she’s happy.
One day at her grief group she meets an old man and strikes up an unlikely friendship. He is a well-respected man of town, a former teacher, baseball coach, and all-around model citizen. But once friends with Sage, he reveals a secret he has been holding in for seventy years. And he needs Sage’s help to fix things.
There are multiple story lines going on in The Storyteller, four different ones going back and forth, weaving in and out, relating and not relating. The reader gets to struggle through them just as Sage does, not sure what she will choose and not sure what we would choose either. This book explores some heavy themes about good and bad, forgiveness and sin. And then the ending comes and you did not expect it. At all.
The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult is a great read, make sure to follow it up with something light and fun though, because it’s heavy and emotional and thought-provoking. You’ll need a break from thinking too hard when you’re done.