By: Jodi Picoult

I have read every book written by Jodi Picoult. Having just listened to an interview with her regarding her latest book, The Storyteller, I am getting to know Jodi better and her inspirations for particular topics. Many people feel that she thinks “on the dark side,” but what I learned is that Jodi writes about horrific events in life (school shootings, death of a child) and that possibly, by writing about these tragedies, she could avoid them.

This is not the case in The Storyteller. She was inspired to write about the Holocaust by a non-fiction book called The Sunflower by Simon Wiesenthal. This is next on my reading list.

The Storyteller is a multi-layered book about Sage Singer, a young woman who is a baker and basically a loner. She befriends an old man through a grief group she attends after her mother dies. Josef is the town’s favorite school teacher and little league coach. As the story unfolds, Josef confides in Sage that he is not the sweet old man whom everyone thinks. He was a Nazi SS officer and now wants to die to atone for his previous sins. Sage’s elderly grandmother is a Holocaust survivor. We learn about Minka’s life in the concentration camp and how she chose to deal with her gruesome memories.

This book is about mercy, revenge and forgiveness. There are sections that are hard to read but I couldn‘t put the book down. I’m sure The Storteller isn’t for everyone, but it sure topped the list for me.

-- Susie Kopf