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The Storyteller Paperback – 2 Jan 2014
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This is as harrowing as it is readable with powerful scenes in Auschwitz (Independent)
Picoult is an expert at keeping you turning the pages (The Lady)
An emotional and compelling tale (Sun)
Another great read (Cosmopolitan)
A powerful and unexpected climax (Good Housekeeping)
Number One bestselling author Jodi Picoult delivers a compelling novel about the lengths we go for the people we love.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Well perhaps `loved' is the wrong word to use given the subject matter, it's certainly a harrowing and shocking story at times. The first part of the novel centres on Sage Singer, a reclusive young woman who hides herself away from the world due to a disfiguring facial scar. Sage works nights in a bakery and, apart from minimal contact with her co-workers, her only other interaction with the outside world is through the grief counselling group she attends to help her come to terms with the death of her mother three years earlier. It's through this group that she meets Josef Weber, an elderly man of German extraction who inveigles his way into her life and chooses her as his confidant when he decides to unburden himself of a shocking secret which he has kept buried for 60 years.
Josef's revelation and the request he makes of her as a result cause Sage to examine her own conscience and look deep into her family history. What follows is the tale of one woman (her grandmother Minka) who was a survivor of the death camps at Auschwitz. The middle section of the book is devoted to Minka's story. I don't think it matters how many accounts of the holocaust one reads, fictional or real, the true horror of what went on is impossible to comprehend. Picoult certainly doesn't pull any punches which makes for difficult reading at times, but Minka's determination to survive make it utterly compelling.Read more ›
The novel consists of three stories interlinked in a complex manner. In the key middle section Ania, a survivor of Auschwitz and Belsen, tells her grand-daughter Sage of her experiences during the Holocaust. The start and end are mainly told by Sage, moving from her own demons to try to avenge the wrong done to Ania. Interpolated throughout are excerpts from the fable Ania wrote, before and during the war, about an "upior" [vampire], in which events gradually mirror with awful clarity the real life events of the main story.
The superbly crafted complexity is not limited to the structure. There is a lot of inter-related symbolism; for example, Sage's facial scar is not only a cause of her depression and self-inflicted loneliness, but also a metaphor for her guilt over her mother's death; the counterpoint is on her Ania's prison camp number tattoo, etched on her skin just as the horrors of the Holocaust are etched on her soul.
A recurrent theme is the impact of seeing people not as individuals but as faceless units of a group. This applies not only to the perception of the Jews by the Nazis, but in the other direction as well.
I wanted to know how it finished, but didn't want the book to end - always a good sign. There is an inspired, touching twist to end the story.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very readable and graphic novel of Nazi Hunter and details of 'life' in Auschwitz. Having been there recently I can see in my mind's eye parts of the story that detail certain... Read morePublished 8 days ago by R. Ford
After a slow but steady start, this book had me gripped. Not a cheery read for the most part but it had me desperate to keep reading.Published 26 days ago by R L. Ross
Wonderful book as most of Jodi Picoult books. It is a story about Sage, bakery worker who meets an old Former Ss officer. Read morePublished 1 month ago by pliumpt!