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The Storyteller

4.27  ·  Rating details ·  141,305 Ratings  ·  14,957 Reviews
Some stories live forever . . .

Sage Singer is a baker. She works through the night, preparing the day’s breads and pastries, trying to escape a reality of loneliness, bad memories, and the shadow of her mother’s death. When Josef Weber, an elderly man in Sage’s grief support group, begins stopping by the bakery, they strike up an unlikely friendship. Despite their differen
Hardcover, 460 pages
Published February 26th 2013 by Atria (first published 2013)
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Popular Answered Questions
Margaret Lehman The Pact, one of Jodi Picoult's earlier books. It was so good that I have tried to read all of her books.
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Angie Daniel It was the pictures he had, which was what brought her to him to start with, when she was caught with them in her bunk. I assumed he put them in his…moreIt was the pictures he had, which was what brought her to him to start with, when she was caught with them in her bunk. I assumed he put them in his own journal and continued to attempt to end the story. (less)

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Jan 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Jodi Picoult has tackled yet another ‘big issue’ (forgiveness) in The Storyteller, but as in all her books things are a little more complicated than usual, and there’s her wow-didn’t-see-that-coming twist as well. Sage Singer is a loner. She works as a baker through the night, only befriending a few people, hardly ever talking to the customers, always staying behind the scenes in the store where she works. She has terrible scars on her face from a frightful accident, something she’s struggling t
Mar 20, 2013 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: die-hard Jodi Picoult fans and people who like to bake
---Some spoilers but nothing major---

The first few chapters of The Storyteller introduce us to Sage Singer - a twenty-something baker who is struggling with scars both emotional and physical. Following an accident that maimed half her face, Sage suffers from very low self-esteem, lives and works like a recluse and settles for being some guy's mistress.

Had I not read the blurb, I would have assumed that I was reading one of those chick-lit stories where an insecure girl with too much emotional ba
Jan 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The Weapons an author has at her disposal are flawed. There are words that feel shapeless and overused. Love, for example. I could write the word love a thousand times and it would mean a thousand different things to different readers.
What is the point of trying to put down on paper emotions that are too complex, too huge, too overwhelming to be confined by an alphabet?
Love isn't the only word that fails.
Hate does, too.
And hope. Oh, yes, hope.
So you see, this is why I never told my story.
Jun 14, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mental-holiday
This book was ok. I have read pretty much everything Picoult has written, and I'm also a massive history buff, so I looked to this book with very high hopes.

Don't get me wrong, I liked this book - for reasons outlined by many of the other reviewers on this site. So for something a little different, I thought I would provide a few suggestions I would have made if I was Picoult's editor.

This is because I've started to notice in the last few books there are gaping continuity errors that reveal bigg
Mar 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Jodi Picoult is one of my adopted authors. This means I enjoy her books and want to share them with others so I donate the cost of each to our library. I get to read the book first, allowing the library, the community and myself to reap the benefits. It's definitely a win-win deal.

I have not loved all of Picoult's books but have always respected the determination and marketing savvy she has shown since she began her career. So what did I think of her latest?

The Storyteller is told in much the s
Apr 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Jodi Picoult is an author who constantly challenges herself and now has undertaken the events of WW2 to segue her usual bone chilling plots and make an amalgam of sorts.

The names of the characters in books generally are not only necessary, but they are also revelatory. Sage is a young woman who has a troubled past and carries enough baggage to qualify as an alcoholic. Only she doesn't.

I liked the main characters. One bonus fact is that there are no overwhelming flashbacks in this book. Jodi Pico
Mar 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
So, to be honest I have been so inundated with research articles, that my free time reading choices have been, well, light. I have been taking on really easy reads due to the fact that my brain hurts.
I thought, being Jodi Piccoult and all, that this book would fit into that category, however I was pleasantly surprised. This book was not only extremely well written, but thought provoking and moving. I never considered a book that took various perspectives of the Holocaust, well because I only bel
Feb 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I do not read many of Jodi Picoult's books, mainly because a lot of them do not really appeal to me. I bought this book mainly because of the high ratings it was recieving on here. All i have to say is wow!!! I loved this book, at times i had to put it down to clear my head of the horrors i was reading. No matter how many books i have read, True or fiction based. The story of what happened to the Jews during the holocaust never fails to bring me to tears.Also reading the story from a young Germa ...more

Sage: I actually really disliked Sage in the first part of this book. I'm not sure if this is intentional on the author's part, or if we were supposed to find her character sympathetic, but whatever the case, the result was that I just could not make myself like her. She seemed to me to be very self-effacing, in an artificial 'woe is me' kind of way, from how she felt about her scarred face (which she was really hung up on) to the reasons behind her sleeping with a married man. This l

I don't curse. When I finished The Storyteller, I couldn't craft a coherent sentence. I just sat and thought to myself: damn.

Sage Singer bakes bread. It's therapy for her, in addition to the grief support group she attends after losing her mother in a car crash. One day she befriends Josef Weber, a fellow support group goer and an elderly man who is a cherished member of their small town community. Sage soon realizes that Josef doesn't just want her bread: he wants her to kill him. She lear
May 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I loved the book. As a Jew myself, living in today's world I felt it was important for me to be reminded of this terrible atrocity. I wonder if I could have had the courage to survive and cope with the losses of all my loved ones. This book has given me a renewed sense of the importance of reaching out to those less fortunate and help elevate their suffering, rather than spend time worrying about petty bs. Thank you Jodi Picoult for this empowering shot of reality
Brittany B.
10 STARS!!!!!!! This book wildly exceeded my expectations.

This is one of the best book of the year, and easily the finest novel of Jodi Picoult's career.

Just an extraordinary book. Words are inadequate.

Mar 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
Spoiler alert:
If you read my reviews, then you know I'm a Jodi fan because I like her characters, controversial plots, and varied narrative techniques. At first, I was frustrated that Jodi chose to write a story on a topic that has been told so many times before (and with so many fiction and nonfiction books on the Holocaust, people will invariably compare this book to these others). I taught Wiesel's Night for 15 years and have read so many Holocaust books, that I fretted about this book when I
Jan 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: home-shelf
I would give this 4 1/2 stars. This book had me thinking on so many different levels that it's hard for me to sum up my thoughts in a review. This quote sums up a lot of what this book had me thinking about - "not all Jews were victims and not all Germans were murderers." Reading Minka's story of the Holocaust really dives into that statement.

A quote from the book, "I do believe in people. In their strength to help each other, and to thrive in spite of the odds." Reading this book made me wonder
Dec 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Wow. For me, a sign of a really great book is one you can remember the characters days, months and even years later. This book was riveting while going from the present and spending a good part of the book back in the 1940s from the point of view of a Holocaust survivor. No matter how horrifying this was, I couldn't stop reading. It may be one of the big reasons I can't get this book out of my mind or it may be the O M G twist at the end. I admit I was as blindsides as I was with My Sister's Kee ...more
Dec 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Devastatingly good. Jodi Picoult weaves some amazing stories and like so many of her other books, this one will break your heart. I was completely engaged all day in this book and though some of it was predictable, I did not expect a lot of it.

Trigger: this story does center around the Holocaust so it could be difficult for many to read.
Mar 19, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Storyteller is a very compelling Novel from Jodi Picoult and it’s a story about redemption and forgiveness.

I had been giving Picoult Novels a wide breath over the past few years as I had felt her books were beginning to take on a pattern which I grew tired of quite quickly.
When I discovered that Jodie Picoult was going to take on a difficult and sensitive subject like the Holocaust I really wanted to read this novel. I appreciate how difficult it must be for a writer to write a fictional ac
Oct 29, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Oh dear. A perfectly good idea but, sadly, not realised. I don't know where to start in unravelling what is wrong with this. For starters, too long - main protagonist is annoying to the point of wishing... can't say, too controversial. A chapter in the middle that is a novel in its own right but no-one would ever read (already written, several times) mistakes all over (one glaringly bad one at the end regarding the car) - a twist that was expected from the second it was set up (half way in) and ...more
Crystal Craig
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The Storyteller is my second Jodi Picoult book. And, I must say it will be hard to better it or even match it. My attention was grabbed right from page one, and my mind didn't wander once while reading. I don't know what to say other than this book was FANTASTIC. It's on my favorites list, and I will be recommending it to everyone for years to come.
Stacey (prettybooks)
Jodi Picoult has a talent for talking about harrowing experiences – from child abuse to suicide pacts, murder to school shootings – and forcing the reader into the minds of everybody involved. But how is it possible to do this with the Holocaust? As it turns out, very well indeed.

The Storyteller begins with Sage Singer, a young woman dealing – badly – with the loss of her mother in a car crash a few years prior. Sage attends a group created for people dealing with grief and it is there she meets
Jun 03, 2013 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sonja Arlow
The last Jodi Picoult I read was House Rules, many years ago, and it has been my favourite until now. I LOVED this book – it evoked so many emotions in me. It was such an amazing and daring subject matter, an old Natzi SS officer at Auschwitz seeking out a young Jewish woman for assisted suicide and forgiveness.

Another thing I forgot about Picoult books is the astounding amount of research that goes into her books – specifically in this case the “other” side of the story – how a seemingly normal
Scarlett Readz and Runz....Through Novel Time & Distance

“If history has a habit of repeating itself, doesn't someone have to stay behind to shout out a warning?”
― Jodi Picoult

I am a bit at loss of words as the Storyteller’s story unfolds in the middle of the novel. I have read a few WWII novels and even though the characters are fictional, the story of each single life lost during the holocaust deserves its own written account. And Minka’s strory is aching my chest.

“What is the point of trying to put down on paper emotions that are too complex, to
Donna Antaramian
How do you forgive someone who has committed a horrendous crime? A war crime against a family member and a war crime against a race? Can you really forgive someone if you are not the actual party who was wronged? Is forgiveness yours to give?

The Storyteller is a riveting tale of Sage Singer; a baker that works nights to avoid contact with the outside world, a young woman that has been attending a grief counseling group since the death of her mother 3 years prior. Here she meets an elder man, Jo
Dec 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: wwii, read-in-2015
Josef and Sage are in the same grief group. He also frequents her bakery and is a stellar, respected member of the community. He is 95, a widower, a retired teacher, ex-Boy Scout leader and Little League coach, and... he was once a Nazi who killed thousands.

He now wants Sage, because she is of Jewish descent, to end his life in retribution for what he did during WWII.

The revelation of Josef's story as recounted to Sage is just classic Picoult. Nothing is black and white -- he was an innocent b
Dec 11, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Story Teller is a really excellent historical fiction offering by Jodi Picoult. Josef Weber, a former Nazi officer befriends a young girl, Sage. Sage’s grandmother, Minka, is a survivor of the holocaust. Josef has one request for Sage...that she kill him.

Minka’s story which makes up the majority of the book is set in the work camps and concentration camps of World War II. These were really horrific, heartbreaking, sickening and realistic accounts of this period, which were extremely well to
Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
So....holy crap wow! This does not read like a Jodi Picoult novel. I had given up on her a few novels ago when her stuff got too sappy for me. The only reason I chose this was because I was desperate for an audio book and this was in front of my face at the library.

I know there are many people who scoff at Picoult with her contrived plots and often didactic storytelling. If you're one of those people, I suggest giving this one a chance. It's different. I would have given it five stars if not fo
Cristiana de Sousa
Jan 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Muito provavelmente o melhor que já li! E de certeza que vai ser um favorito do ano! O início foi um pouco lento e não parecia fazer muito sentido. Mas depois a narrativa ficou tão viciaste que foi impossível parar de o ler! Uma obra sobre o Holocausto muito forte e emotiva! Aconselho muito.
If a 95-years old model citizen, who’s also an ex-Nazi war criminal, seeks and begs for forgiveness, could he be genuinely forgiven?

Through the voices of different people, in different stages of involvement in the Holocaust (the Auschwitz survivor, the ex SS member, the survivor’s grand-daughter and the FBI official Nazi-hunter), The Storyteller dwells with the moral questions of forgiveness and remorse, and has you asking yourself questions about what you would do in the unimaginable given sit
Nov 01, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: life-s-too-short
If this novel was a building it’d be an eyesore – there are turrets, clunky outbuildings and an almost complete disregard for symmetry. Stylistically it’s all over the place too. One minute it’s pure chick lit with a self-pitying heroine who’s “hot” but believes herself ugly because of scars received in a car accident; then it’s fantasy with an italicised story about a kind of vampire/werewolf wreaking havoc on a small town; then it’s a mystery/detective novel with a Nazi hunter and an old man w ...more
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Should this be adapted into a film? 24 246 Sep 01, 2018 02:18PM  
Play Book Tag: The Storyteller / Jodi Picoult. 4 stars 1 12 Jul 05, 2018 12:01PM  
holocaust books 2 10 Apr 15, 2018 09:52PM  
YA Buddy Readers'...: The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult - Restarting April 1st 2018 42 120 Apr 05, 2018 12:54PM  
Play Book Tag: The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult 16 21 Mar 30, 2018 03:56PM  
Josef's death 16 252 Feb 22, 2018 12:36PM  
  • Family Pictures
  • Don't Go
  • After the Fall
  • The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes
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Jodi Picoult is the author of twenty-four novels, including the #1 New York Times bestsellers Small Great Things, Leaving Time, The Storyteller, Lone Wolf, Between the Lines, Sing You Home, House Rules, Handle with Care, Change of Heart, Nineteen Minutes, and My Sister’s Keeper. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband and three children.

Her new novel, A SPARK OF LIGHT, is available in hardcove

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“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.” 351 likes
“History isn't about dates and places and wars. It's about the people who fill the spaces between them.” 228 likes
More quotes…