Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Nineteen Minutes

by Jodi Picoult

In nineteen minutes, Peter Houghton changed the lives of many people in Sterling, New Hampshire. In nineteen minutes, Peter went on a shooting spree in his high school, and when he was finished, ten were dead, and nine were injured.

Who remains? Peter, Peter’s family, Patrick the cop, Jordan the defense lawyer, Alex the judge, and Josie, Alex’s daughter and Peter’s childhood friend. And a whole lot of angry and grieving residents of Sterling.

Told in a not-so-linear fashion, we learn what happened to Peter before that fateful day: he was bullied. A lot.

Remaining true to form, Picoult tells the story from various points of view. Also true to form is Picoult’s surprise at the end. But is it a surprise? For a reader of several of Picoult’s past efforts, I was not surprised. In fact, I had predicted the “surprise” rather early in the story.

Still, I was engrossed in this story, as I always am with Picoult’s novels. If you enjoy her novels, you’ll enjoy Nineteen Minutes.


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