Wednesday, 9 December 2015

The Storyteller: A Review of Sorts

Jodi Picoult is one of my favourite writers ever. I am learning how to tame my youthful exuberance and someone I know pointed out to me that if I claim that something is the best thing ever, I can't then go on and give that title to five or so more things. Adulting is difficult! All these rules. I will, therefore, refrain from calling Jodi 'my favourite writer ever' and add the prefix 'one of'.

From experience, I know how crafty Jodi can get. She will get you to care; to invest your feelings in the characters that she weaves around your heart and soul. You will prefer to have coffee with the suspected pedophile from Salem Falls, instead of paying attention to your date. You will get out of your Friday night plans by washing your hair when the real reason is that you can't let that sad, little girl in  Leaving Time spend a Friday night alone. She is all you have You are all she has! I know Jodi and I have been working on building up my defences. I start reading her books with a sense of detachment and refuse to let myself get swallowed in. Real life is heartbreaking enough! That was until I read The Storyteller.

This book and this story is filled with love. First of, my sister's love. She let me snatch this book from her when she was midway through reading it. I heartlessly spirited away to Kampala with it. Being the beautiful soul she is, she understood that while she is surrounded by family, friends, love and laughter; all I have in this alien land is Jodi.

Secondly, there is all the baking! Almost every single page of this book talks about delicious breads and pastries. Of all the acts of cooking; baking is the one that expresses love the most. The book tells three stories concurrently: Sage's journey of self discovery and forgiveness; Minka's experiences during the Holocaust; and Ania's fantasy like tale filled with monsters (human and otherwise). While all three are set in different places, times and realms of reality; bread remains a center point in all three.

Needless to say, I got sucked in. I could not put down this book. It combined the best elements of my love for history and my curiosity for human nature. It raises a lot of moral questions and allows me to fantasize about food when things get too serious. Like all Jodi Picoult books, it is thought provoking and will make you want to take a moment to breath ever so often.

Thank you Jodi, for the gift of  great story!
PS: If you are in Nairobi, you need to check out that book guy outside Diamond Plaza!

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