Tag Archives: vampires

The Storyteller Review

the storyteller

Sage Singer befriends an old man who’s particularly beloved in her community. Josef Weber is everyone’s favorite retired teacher and Little League coach. They strike up a friendship at the bakery where Sage works. One day he asks Sage for a favor: to kill him. Shocked, Sage refuses…and then he confesses his darkest secret – he deserves to die, because he was a Nazi SS guard. Complicating the matter? Sage’s grandmother is a Holocaust survivor.

What do you do when evil lives next door? Can someone who’s committed a truly heinous act ever atone for it with subsequent good behavior? Should you offer forgiveness to someone if you aren’t the party who was wronged? And most of all – if Sage even considers his request – is it murder, or justice?  (Goodreads)

This is no quick and easy read – it’s a complex and compelling one about good and evil and everything in between.  There are stories within the story that are horrifying, sickening, and unbearably sad, and yet I became immersed in every one of them.  There is guilt, grief, despair, hope, mindless cruelty, emotional scars, remorse and the lack of it.  The main story is told from several points of view, with a vampire tale woven in just to keep you on your toes.  Sounds confusing, but ultimately it’s not.  It’s gripping and grim, and still remarkable.

Normally I read a book in a few days, but this one took much longer to digest and absorb. It starts off slowly, then nails you to your chair, and finally ends with a twist.  If that didn’t hook you, perhaps these quotes will.

“Inside each of us is a monster; inside each of us is a saint. The real question is which one we nurture the most, which one will smite the other.” 

“I don’t believe in God. But sitting there, in a room full of those who feel otherwise, I realize that I do believe in people. In their strength to help each other, and to thrive in spite of the odds, I believe that the extraordinary trumps the ordinary, any day. I believe that having something to hope for — even if it’s just a better tomorrow — is the most powerful drug on this planet.” 

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.” 

Jodi Picoult, The Storyteller

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The Mysterious Shifts of the Reading Mood

MidnightsChildrenMidnight’s Children, by Salman Rushdie

This is the book I’ve been slogging through for days and days and no matter how hard I try to get into it, I end up feeling like I’m going nowhere.  Today I’m giving up.  Maybe temporarily, maybe forever.  This is perhaps not the best choice of a book to be reading right before Christmas when my mind is on a bazillion other things.  Because Midnight’s Children deserves determination and a concentrating mind.

I am appreciating it, but I am not enjoying it. Maybe in January when all the hoopla is over and we’re snowed in up to our eyeballs I’ll be able to give it another go.

Or maybe I’ll just wimp out altogether and go see the movie.

And now I will admit to all the serious readers out there what I’m perusing instead, so everyone will know what kind of warped priorities I have.dulcie o'neil set

The Dulcie O’Neil Set, Books 1, 2 and 3:  To Kill a Warlock, A Tale of Two Goblins, and Great Hexpectations by H.P. Mallory.  Altogether much easier on the brain cells.  Warlocks, shape shifters, law enforcement fairies, demons, vampires – and who knows what else – solving (and committing) crimes and trying to stay out of the dreaded Netherworld.

I don’t pretend to fully understand what’s going on, but in this series I don’t think it really matters.

I just want to put my feet up, read a few pages in a leisurely manner like I’ve got all the time in the world and fall asleep without a headache.  And know that Dulcie will be back tomorrow to fight some other dark magic criminal and win in the end.

Loving what I’m reading seems to depend less on how great the book is and more on my fickle reading moods. Right now I’m not in the mood for deep thoughts. Unless they involve sweet potatoes and poultry seasoning.

Happy 12/12/12 everybody!