The Storyteller is told through several points of view, and is set during the modern time with some flashbacks. The main character is Sage, who befriends an old man that she met in a grief group. They form a friendship, and after some time, he asks her for a favor: to kill him. Yes, to kill him. It captured my attention as soon as I read the premise.
I know Jodi Picoult tends to write about moral issues and heavy subject matters, having read two of her other books, so I wasn't surprised she would write such a story. I do appreciate that she tackles such topics, and there's definitely big ones here: assisted suicide, forgiveness, guilt, among others. As mentioned, it also surrounds the heaviness of the impacts created during the WWII era, specifically during the Holocaust.
Unfortunately, I was let down by this book quite a lot. One of my biggest pet peeves is when a specific point of view or opinion is being forced down the reader's throat. I am all up for stories with controversial topics, but I think some of the best books that talk about such issues are those that let the reader decide for themselves.
It also did not help that I could not root for the main character of Sage at all. In the beginning, I figured I would end up appreciating her purpose, but throughout the book, she had no growth. She stayed the same, without much development. I also did not like her decisions and thought process throughout as well as in the end, which made it even more difficult to like the story itself.
Lastly, I really despised the fact that there was a romance here added randomly. It was so contrived and unnecessary, a random subplot that served no real purpose. It makes me wonder: why can't a story surrounding the Holocaust and some moral issues just stick to that? Is it necessary for every book or every female protagonist to find the man who will sweep her off her feet?
Maybe I am being harsh, but this book just really struck a negative chord in me. I will not deny that the author is talented and writes effortlessly, but the whole story could have been executed a lot better. in terms of character and plot. I felt like it was way too long and felt like it dragged on, and I think it could have been a bit tighter and more seamless. I almost did not finish it, but I went with it, and in a way, I wish I just stopped reading it halfway through.