Author: Jodi Picoult
Publish Date: February 26, 2013
Why You're Reading This Book:
- You're a fiction fan.
From Goodreads.com: "Sage Singer befriends an old man who's particularly beloved in her community. Josef Weber is everyone's favorite retired teacher and Little League coach. They strike up a friendship at the bakery where Sage works. One day he asks Sage for a favor: to kill him. Shocked, Sage refuses…and then he confesses his darkest secret - he deserves to die, because he was a Nazi SS guard. Complicating the matter? Sage's grandmother is a Holocaust survivor.
What do you do when evil lives next door? Can someone who's committed a truly heinous act ever atone for it with subsequent good behavior? Should you offer forgiveness to someone if you aren't the party who was wronged? And most of all - if Sage even considers his request - is it murder, or justice?"
My Two Cents:
I really love Jodi Picoult's books. It doesn't matter what she is writing about, she knows how to tell a story so that you are fully and utterly engaged. This particular story follows Sage, a young woman trying to recover from her own tragedy, who befriends Josef, who is like the grandpa of the small New England town where they live. It is comforting at first but then Josef tells Sage a huge secret that will change the trajectory of both of their lives.
The story is told from several perspectives, which I really liked. You get a chance to put together the pieces of the story. I honestly would love to know what sort of planning Picoult uses in order to have all of the different pieces of the story come together in the awesome way that they do. She gives you enough pieces to keep you moving through the story because you want to see what happens next.
Being a historical fiction lover, I especially loved that the arc of the story really focuses on what happened during World War II. Josef's secret is that he was an SS officer and he wants to somehow find some sort of comfort or closure or perhaps both for what he did. He unfairly wants Sage to give him a sense of that but something that big and that life changing is really out of her hands.
This book will definitely appeal to those who like stories about families, historical fiction, mysteries, and who want to be sucked in to a great story.