Saturday, April 19, 2014

Holiday Reading - Jodi Picoult

Will you think less of me if I confess this is the first Jodi Picoult I've read?? I'll remind you of course that I finally feel at a life stage where I have time to really read and enjoy good novels and I'm thinking I should have done it earlier :o).

So... it's so easy to see why Jodi Picoult is such a successful author. She is a supreme story teller and by that I mean that she writes stories about people who do and believe bad, terrible even, things but she writes their story. Without any 'teaching tone' she gently confronts the reader with the fact that everyone has a story. That person you judge from the outside - the boy that guns down students at his high-school, the scientist that believes in eugenics... the monster is a person and that person has a story. But, so do all the people they effect with their decisions.

Our lives are complex and complicated and we are pushed forward more often by our reaction to our past than by some lofty 'bettering ourselves' ideals.This is where I find these novels so irresistible. These, it feels, are real people not perfect nor entirely evil. People who struggle to come to terms with both their past and possible future. People who are engaged fully in their present while drawn back and forward over the narrative of their lives.

This latest publication includes 3 of Picoult's novels: Second Glance, The Tenth Circle, and  Nineteen Minutes. I'm not going to precis the plots for you, suffice to say they cover the entire rangeof circumstances - eugenics, the paranormal, rape, high school shootings, family life, falling in love, parenting.... but they are so much more than their big themes they are people, tangled, loving and loved, hiding and disclosing. They are stories to draw you in and when you finish you feel you are saying goodbye to friends and you want to know how their lives continue. - Don't you both love and hate that in books - when you want to know more about how things unfold for them?

These aren't quick reads (even for me). They bounce forward and back in time and between characters with seamlessness. You get totally drawn into the current tale and feel disappointed when it jumps only to find yourself totally locked into what you have just landed on.

As a holiday read 3 novels in 1 book (albeit heavy) is perfect. One book that can keep you satisfied for the whole holiday has to be a good thing right?

I'll be reading more of Jodi Picoult for sure. Her work is intelligent, well written and has more depth than anything I might spend time watching on TV.

Have you read any of her work? What would you recommend I try from her next?

Details - Published by Allen and Unwin 1st of April 2014. RRP $32.99 Au.

love you more than being late to the party but finding it still in full swing xxx