I do need to declare the fact that I’m not an entirely impartial reviewer of Jodi Picoult’s books. After discovering My Sister’s Keeper through Richard and Judy’s Book Club back in 2005, I tracked down all her back catalogue way before UK publication, and I’m always first in line for her new books. But I really didn’t like Lone Wolf half as much as others, and I approached this one with some trepidation – might I have gone off a previous favourite? The answer is a resounding no – this book was absolutely magnificent, and it was so good to find it such a departure from the usual moral dilemma followed by court case.
Published in the UK in March by Hodder & Stoughton, the core of the book is the Holocaust, and its raw power is quite breathtaking. We start with the story of Sage Springer – facially scarred and a bit of a loner, she works as a night time baker for an ex-nun cafe owner, is involved in a dead end affair with a married man, and her only other social contact comes through her attendance at a grief counselling group. Her relationships with her Jewish family are fractured, other that with her grandmother Minka, who is a holocaust survivor but has never told Sage her story.
|At the Sing You Home tour|
The last section of the book returns to Sage, Leo and Josef with their efforts to link Josef with Minka’s SS captors and the moral issues about forgiveness. The end is appropriate and thoroughly satisfying, with that characteristic twist we’ve come to expect.
The subject of this book is harrowing, but the story is so well told that I have to say I absolutely loved it. I felt like I’d been through a wringer when I’d finished, but wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. This book moves Jodi Picoult’s writing into a whole new league, and I’d recommend it most highly.