02 August 2007

Review - Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult

This novel broke my heart. Jodi Picoult has a way of getting inside a character and bringing me with her. It tells the story of Peter Houghton, after years of being bullied, tries to stop it with an act of violence, a school shooting. Rather than villainizing the shooter, although it doesn’t shy away from what he did, the book points to the responsibility of a community that failed to take care of all the little children.
I’ve only read two Picoult books, but from those experiences, I’m tempted to label her Queen of the Backstory. In the first book of hers I read, Harvesting the Heart, it was overwhelming and slow. But in this book, the flipping back and forth only served to dig deeper into the lives and motives and hearts of the characters. Her ending was powerful, but I won’t say more than that so as not to give it away.
While I didn’t necessarily recommend Harvesting the Heart, Nineteen Minutes I do. Perhaps it’s Jodi’s development as an author over the past ten years…

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