Tag: survivors

The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult

May 9th, 2013 — 10:41pm

The StorytellerThe Storyteller by Jodi Picoult – After reading this book I reflected on where did I learn the details about the Holocaust? It wasn’t in any formal class that I took in public school or in college. It may have been in Hebrew School prior to my Bar Mitavah. It was in very general terms from members of my family none of whom that I knew of was a survivor or closely related to one.  It was enhanced by books I read and movies I saw such as The Diary of Ann Frank, Schindler’s List, Sophie’s Choice plus so many more as well as some more contemporary movies that have recently emerged (and we have reviewed elsewhere)  such as No Place on EarthIn DarknessIron CrossFour Seasons Lodge. However, nothing is more informative and  powerful than a well written novel such as this one in which it’s authenticity is based on the author’s research and a well written thoughtfully honed scenario. while, I didn’t learn any new facts or any basic history that I did not know, I am glad to be reminded and stimulated by this book. I also am glad that this best selling novel will be available to  our younger generations from teens up who can learn about what happened on the ground and in the concentration camps. All that being said and in addition to this being the authors 5th book on the NY Times #1 slot for best selling book, the story raises some very challenging ethical questions. Sage, the main character, is a young woman who works as a baker in a bakery in a New England town. She meets a 93 year old widow who is a well known retired school teacher with a reputation as a very kind old man. However, he has a secret which he confides to Sage and that is that 65 years ago he was a SS officers in a Nazi concentration camp. Sage’s elderly grandmother is a survivor of the holocaust who was in that concentration camp who has a hidden story to tell. She also since childhood has been a writer or storyteller. Her fantasized  stories which are weaved throughout the book are allegories and philosophical explorations of the human psyche and ethical dilemmas  that the characters in the real story are considering  Our ex- Nazi after befriending Sage and telling her his story in some detail asks Sage to help him end his life. As part of this wish is his other wish to be  forgiven. As readers one step and nearly 70 years removed we can ponder what the right thing is to do. Who can forgive but the victims but they have been  murdered and most of the survivors are gone. What about the value of the US government hunting even these elderly Nazis and deporting them? Package this all in a page turner or a button pusher (on my Kindle) and you have a great book.

Comment » | FH - Fiction Historical

Back to top