Monday, June 11, 2007

Book Review: Nineteen Minutes

Jodi Picoult is back in her 14th bestselling novel, Nineteen Minutes, with a compelling story set in a small town following an horrific school shooting.

The nineteen minutes refers to the time that Peter, a student at Sterling High School, takes to move through his school killing and injuring a large number of students, sending shockwaves through the community. In a narrative alternating between 17 years earlier and the time following the shooting leading up to the trial, Picoult peels away layer after layer so that we come to understand how the shooting took place. In doing so, we are taken on the inner journey of the main characters so that we understand how, over many years, the horror of that nineteen minutes was in the making.

Jodi Picoult is a brilliant writer and, after a slight hiatus with her last novel, returns to her old form with a story that is as contemporary as today’s headlines. Grappling with major themes of justice, power, and the pain of being different, the story winds its way to the inevitable day and its sequel in court where a devastating finale will take your breath away. Nineteen Minutes is a story with extraordinary depth and power.

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