Skip to main content

Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult

In nineteen minutes, you can mow the lawn, color your hair, watch a third of a hockey game...In nineteen minutes, you can order a pizza and get it delivered. You can read a story to a child...You can walk a mile... In nineteen minutes, you can stop the world...In nineteen minutes, you can get revenge.
From the opening lines of Nineteen Minutes



In nineteen minutes, you can read a chapter of a book, losing yourself in the world in which its characters live. In nineteen minutes, you can write a review for that book and publish it to this blog... Well. That last one is a stretch.


Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult is the story of a boy and a community. The narrative can be divided into two parts that are effortlessly and skillfully interwoven by the author. One part tells of the aftermath of the nineteen minutes it took for the boy to shoot up his high school, and the other part tells the story of the events and experiences of the preceding seventeen years that led the boy to commit such an unspeakable act of violence.


Ultimately, it is a story about the daily cruelties children are capable of inflicting upon each other and the effect these cruelties wrought upon their recipients. It is also a story of the struggle students endure every day to fit in at their school, to maintain appearances, and to keep hidden deep inside that which makes them who they are for fear of it being used against them in the schoolyard. It is the story of the cost of keeping our true selves hidden and protected from friends and family for fear of being rebuffed and rejected.


Regular readers of Picoult's novels won't be disappointed, this story, like all of her stories, draws the reader into its pages, and it is deeply effecting. The pages keep turning because you know, instinctively, that appearances are deceiving, and all will not be revealed until the end. For those who have never read a Jodi Picoult novel, this is a good one to start with because it will make you stop and think about a lot.


For me, I have yet to find the Picoult novel that is as heart wrenching, effecting, and haunting as one of her earlier novels, My Sister's Keeper. Nineteen Minutes comes close. And at some point in a future blog entry, you will hear more about My Sister's Keeper.


Nineteen Minutes can be found at Fic/Pic in adult fiction, located upstairs in the library. I hope you'll check it out.


Jodi Picoult's official website can be found here http://www.jodipicoult.com/


--Reviewed by Ms. Angie

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Broken by Karin Slaughter

Before I begin the formal review there are a few things I need to get off my chest in the wake of finishing this book; I'll do so without giving away too many (or any) spoilers.
The OUTRAGE!: the identity of Detective Lena Adams' new beau; the low depths to which Grant County's interim chief has sunk and brought the police force down with him; agent Will Trent's wife, Angie's, sixth sense/nasty habit of reappearing in his life just when he's slipping away from her. Thank God for small miracles though because while Angie was certainly referred to during the book, the broad didn't make an appearance. One sign that I've become way too invested in these characters is that I'd like to employ John Connolly's odd pair of assassins, Louis and Angel, to contract out a hit on Angie; do you think Karin Slaughter and John Connolly could work out a special cross over?
Hallelujah: Dr. Sara Linton and agent Will Trent are both back. There is no hallelujah for…

Crow Lake by Mary Lawson

When the end came, it seemed to do so completely out of the blue, and it wasn't until long afterward that I was able to see that there was a chain of events leading up to it. Some of those events had nothing to do with us, the Morrisons, but were solely the concern of the Pyes, who lived on a farm about a mile away and were our nearest neighbors." from page seven
I must confess that it took me longer than it really needed to in order to finish the novel Crow Lake by Mary Lawson. The entire story is building up to the big catastrophe that forever destroys all the hopes and dreams the Morrison clan ever dared to hope and dream for its future. In the eyes of the narrator, it is even worse than the tragedy of the car crash that claimed both parents' lives one evening on the heels of some good news the family has received and celebrated. Now you can see why I dreaded getting to the end of a book that drips in foreboding like nobody's business. What can be a worse tra…

In The Woods by Tana French

"What I warn you to remember is that I am a detective. Our relationship with the truth is fundamental, but cracked, refracting confusingly like fragmented glass. It is the core of our careers, the endgame of every move we make, and we pursue it with strategies painstakingly constructed of lies ... and every variation on deception. The truth is the most desirable woman in the world and we are the most jealous lovers, reflexively denying anyone else the slightest glimpse of her. We betray her routinely ... This is my job ... What I am telling you, before you begin my story, is this--two things: I crave truth. And I lie." opening lines of In The Woods chapter 1, pages 3-4
In The Woods by Tana French, an Irish writer, is an extremely well-written and well-crafted mystery novel. The downside is that this is French's debut novel, and her website (located at http://www.tanafrench.com/) does not offer any insi…