A few books leave an impact on us like no other. One such book is The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult. This book is about everything from haunting memories, loses and sacrifices, to rising from the ashes.
Sage Singer, a baker, lives in the shadows and tries to hide away from everyone. She takes up a job that lets her bake in the nights, when no one can take a second look at her face or her scar. She would give anything to go back to that one accident to bring back her mother and make things as before. She battles her low self-esteem, but when an affair crops up with a married man, she does not think twice but convinces herself that she can never expect anything better.
Minka, Sage’s grandmother, a holocaust survivor, a lesser known writer, who believes there is good in every bad, tries to give strength to Sage. But Minka never opens up about her war-time memories. Until one day, when she lets out every detail of her struggle as a Jew. Minka’s life makes us cringe at the sins committed against humanity. Minka writes a story through the war. Her characters resemble her real life and everyone who listens to her story wants to know more of it. It gives her a purpose to live and pull through one more day. We later come to realise that, no matter how much Minka lost during the war, she never lost her hope.
Joseph Weber, a retired German teacher, joins the grief counselling group which Sage attends. They become good friends over time. At some point, Joseph lets out his long hidden secrets to Sage, until she gets to know that she did not cross paths with Joseph by accident. Joseph pleads for a favour that he thinks only Sage can do. Sage’s decision and her moral battles makes up the rest of the story.
The progress of Sage along the book are empowering to read. By the end, we find ourselves forgiving others even if it just for the sake of us.
Jodi Picoult has done a brilliant job yet again. Her descriptions take us to the exact place and scene in the picture. The part on holocaust and the injustices that happened were heart wrenching. In all, it is a journey which takes you to places you can never visit. The story of Minka and Sage will touch your soul and stay with you for a long, long time.
Quotes from the book
‘“So you see, this is why I never told my story.The Storyteller, Jodi Picoult
If you lived through it, you already know there are no words that will ever come close to describing it.
And if you didn’t, you will never understand.”
“By now, the sun has sunk so low that everything on the shrine’s hill is glowing and golden. Just looking at it, at so much beauty in one place, makes the tightness in my chest loosen a little. Surely if there’s evil in the world, it’s counterbalanced by moments like these. ”The Storyteller, Jodi Picoult
“I don’t know what this person did to you, and I am not sure I want to. But 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.”The Storyteller, Jodi Picoult
“It does not matter who forgives you, if you’re the one who can’t forget.”The Storyteller, Jodi Picoult
“Fiction comes in all shapes and sizes. Secrets, lies, stories. We all tell them. Sometimes, because we hope to entertain. Sometimes, because we need to distract.
And sometimes, because we have to.”The Storyteller, Jodi Picoult
I would recommend you to pick this up when you need strength, inspiration, and a bit of both.