The Storyteller- Jodi Picoult

Synopsis (from amazon)

For seventy years, Josef Weber has been hiding in plain sight.

He is a pillar of his local community.

He is also a murderer.

When Josef decides to confess, it is to Sage Singer, a young woman who trusts him as her friend. What she hears shatters everything she thought she knew and believed.

As Sage uncovers the truth from the darkest horrors of war, she must follow a twisting trail between terror and mercy, betrayal and forgiveness, love – and revenge.


The Storyteller is a little bit different when it comes to Jodi Picoult. Her books tend to follow a formula, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing because the subject matter changes, and it works for the type of books she is writing. Her basic outline though is there’s an issue- you see different character’s point of views, and it’s not always clear who you should be backing- at least at first. Usually there’s a twist somewhere along the line which makes you question your own judgement of the situation. Basically they get you thinking- sometimes even after you’ve finished the book.

So you can understand why when I heard Picoult’s new book was centred around a former concentration camp worker I couldn’t work out how her formula would fit. You can make someone feel sympathy for someone like that but you can never make someone understand that there might be a good reason why they did what they did, so how was Picoult going to make that work.

There was a lot more in the past of this book, Franz’s past, the past of one of the women in the concentration camp, and her fictional story, which started before she was in the concentration camp and finished whilst she was there. Then there was the area now. With Sage finding out the truth about Franz. There is an element of should Franz have to suffer for something he had done so long ago, especially if he is remorseful (which at times he seems to be, but at times doesn’t seem genuine), if he is old and might well die before he even gets charged? Can he be forgiven?

It wouldn’t be much of a book if that was the only challenge, so yes there are more, and the history b its are interesting. There is little I can say without giving away some pretty major plot points (and I’m all for spoiler free reviews).

I’m still not sure I would say this is a favourite Picoult, but it’s a little too different to compare. In terms of others which are different it probably is the best, although even the different ones are hard to compare to one another.


Buy it:

Paperback (£3.80)

Kindle (£2.00)

Hardback (£9.00)

Other reviews:

So Many Books, So Little Time

Sam Still Reading

Book Journey

Between the Pages

Did I miss your review? Leave me a link in comments and I will add it here


Filed under Contempory, Fiction review, Historical

9 responses to “The Storyteller- Jodi Picoult

  1. I like your review, but I personally could’t get past the believably factor. A minor issue was the person that only spoke in haiku. The big one being the old man seeking out the lady. For whatever reason, I couldn’t buy into it. Maybe I was just in a grumpy mood when reading it; everyone else (including my family members) seemed to have loved it. Anyhow, sorry to babble–great review, though.


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  3. I’ve heard really great things about this book, but it’s true that Picoult follows a formula (kind of like Kate Morton. Thankfully, if it’s a formula you like it usually means the book will be at least decent 🙂


  4. I like Kate Morton too, so I suppose I must like her formula (plus her books tend to be a bit gothic which I like). I suppose a formula you like does mean that you are more or less guaranteed to like a book by that author.


  5. Usually, but sometimes I get bored and move on to a new one 🙂


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