the alfmeister

a figment of reality's imagination

Holiday Reading – Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult


While suffering cabin-fever in Kaikoura during the rain I managed to read the two books I had taken with me, and with no others the wife gave me this one which she read in quick time as well.

I have read a Picoult book in the past on insistence (My Sister’s Keeper) and quite liked it, but the wife assured me this one was a good’un. And she was right…

The story revolves around a high school shooting (in America, where else?) and the consequence it has on the families of those killed, those who survived, and in particular the parents of two kids: one the alleged shooter, the other the his love interest. But it also scratches that nasty wee scab in teenage life – bullying.

Won’t give away too much, but do insist on reading it. Well researched and written, it jumps between three times; the day of the shooting, the years leading up (quite literally from the shooter’s early childhood), and the months afterwards (specifically the trial). And unlike other stories that try this format, it is very easy to know who and what you are dealing with especially as the characters (and there are plenty making more than just an extra) are well written and memorable.

A long book at over 400 pages, but this means nothing as the book is too hard to put down, although just as hard to pick up being so big and heavy!

My only criticisms of this book is the lack of insight and POV from the shooting itself which really would have set this book into the next level as you can’t help but have a morbid fascination in what, why and how, and the ending I thought was a little ‘short’, and romanticised…but that’s just me.

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