Meopham

The Storyteller

The Storyteller by Judi Picoult (Reviewed Sep 2018)

This is a book that appealed to nearly of the group, with many of us scoring it above 4 out of five.

(comments below are from The Independent book review)

A Holocaust story (with a quirky vampiric twist) set in modern America and in Auschwitz, Picoult wanted to highlight the fact that a story about the Holocaust is not just a Jewish story. "There's almost a misconception that the only people who care about the Holocaust or who should care are Jews or descendants of Jews. Although six million Jews died in the Holocaust... it was not a Jewish problem. It was really a human-rights problem, and that's why I think everyone has a stake in remembering what happens when intolerance gets out of hand."

This book has inspired some of the rewarding letters that Picoult has ever received, several from Holocaust survivors and Jews – butmost also from non-believers and young Germans who have expressed their gratitude.

"In 1981, the Supreme Court said anyone who was a guard at a concentration camp was responsible for crimes against humanity, so it didn't matter if you were working in the kitchens or putting the Zyklon-B tablets in the showers. You were equally as culpable."

So how then do we move on from it? This question plays across the novel. Not just Sage but also her grandmother Minka, an Auschwitz survivor, shows how it might be possible. More than half the survivors Picoult interviewed said they forgave the Nazis, though they could never forget. She braided the experiences of four survivors to create Minka's story.