Great Read!

The StorytellerOne of the downfalls of being a writer is that I find it difficult to read fiction. This is disheartening since I love to get lost in a good book. I’m so busy critiquing sentence structure, word usage and scene tension that I don’t enjoy the actual story. And it’s story that made me want to be a writer in the first place. However, that isn’t true of my most recent fiction choice—The Storyteller.

Back in the day (before I became such a critical reader), I’d go through two or three novels a week. I’d read into the wee hours of the night because I just couldn’t wait to find out what happened next. And, I’ll admit, I’ve been known to peek at the last page on occasion. My husband thinks this is appalling, like it’s unethical or dishonest. The truth is, there are times when I’m so involved in the characters, I can’t stand to get emotionally invested only to be disappointed at the ending. If the love interest doesn’t work out, I can handle it better if I know it up front.

It’s been almost three years since I’ve been so taken with a book—The Help by Kathryn Stockett (June, 2009) and Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen (July, 2010) were my last great finds. But recently, there have been few books that have held my interest enough to care what happens to the characters—and that’s a fatal flaw of a story.

The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult held my attention from the first sentence: On the second Thursday of the month, Mrs. Dombrowski brings her dead husband to our therapy group. Who wouldn’t want to continue reading with a start like that? This is a story about Sage Singer, a twenty-five-year-old baker who has something to hide. It’s also about an elderly man, Josef Webber, who has his own secrets. Then there’s the former nun, the worker who only speaks in Haiku, and the FBI agent—a cast of unexpected characters who bring the pages to life—characters in whom I’ve become invested, even though I’m only a third of the way through the book.

Yesterday afternoon, my husband and I took a rare couple hours in the afternoon to read. A half hour into our time, I wondered if the newly introduced character would become the intricate part of Sage’s life that I wanted him to be. Would I become hooked on a person only to be disappointed? I glanced across the room to see Chris involved in his own book before unobtrusively flipping to the end of mine. Scanning through a few paragraphs, I was startled by Chris clearing his throat. Looking up, I caught the hitched eyebrow and teasing frown. “What are you doing?” Caught red-handed, so to speak.

But I don’t care. It’s been way too longs since I’ve been tempted to take a sneak peek at the ending. And I’m guessing if you pick up a copy of The Storyteller, you’ll be sorely tempted to do the same.

One thought on “Great Read!

  1. Wow, Jennifer, I pray my novel Kellen’s Hope does that for my readers. From the one 5 star review I’ve received, and comments, it seems I’ve accomplished what you proposed about a good book, but, not from a writer. That said, I guess the ultimate review will come from a writer I trust. Waiting with baited breath…

    Danie Marie

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