Book Reviews





The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult - review

“Forgiving isn't something you do for someone else. It's something you do for yourself. It's saying, 'You're not important enough to have a stranglehold on me.' It's saying, 'You don't get to trap me in the past. I am worthy of a future.”

Title: The Storyteller
Author: Jodi Picoult

Publisher: Hodder
Source: Purchased
Available: Now
Buy it: Here


Sage has been asked to do an impossible thing - to listen to the confessional of a former Nazi officer, and help him to die, forgiven. As if that wasn't struggle enough, Sage finds herself personally implicated in his confession, as she goes to her Jewish grandmother for advice, and hears her story, kept from her for 25 years. What is the true meaning of forgiveness, and what, if at all, can she offer?


I am a long-time fan of Jodi Picoult's novels, and in all honesty, I found The Storyteller hard to love. Usually so good at portraying an unbiased view of two sides to a moral dilemma, with The Storyteller it felt as if this was one topic Picoult was unable to draw enough distance from to do that. The "less popular"/challenging side to the story was very leading, and didn't give the reader space to form their own opinions.

I realise that holocaust is an unwavering topic. To most there are very defined lines of good and evil. However, in approaching this novel, and given the author's previous books, I expected to be given a tough and challenging read. I wanted to be uncomfortable, presented with hard choices of empathy - perhaps have my eyes opened. There wasn't any of that here. The story itself was good, well written and researched, moving and captivating. However, there is no denying that with The Storyteller, this is just "another war story". I was disappointed with this, and it's a personal opinion, but as a fan I didn't get what I thought Jodi would deliver.

This doesn't affect the overall quality of the novel. I enjoyed reading the story very much, and will certainly look forward to the next release from Jodi Picoult with anticipation. If you are looking for a novel portraying the Jewish struggle during WWII in an emotional and page-turning fashion, The Storyteller is a brilliant book for you.


A departure from the usual "two-sided" narrative approach, I found The Storyteller to be a page turner, but ultimately a little flat in it's delivery. However, I am basing this off of a previous love of the author's style, and taken alone The Storyteller is a great novel for those interested in historical drama.



  1. Paper Obsessed28 May 2014 at 21:27

    I was interested to read this review as I have read a few of her novels before but not this one. I will still give it a go and let you know what I think.

  2. It is a good book and I'm sure you'll enjoy it :) I mostly just felt that the attempt at "the moral dilemma" didn't come across as effectively as in her previous books, but that's just my opinion! Definitely let me know what you think! x