49 reviews

The Storyteller
by Jodi Picoult

Published: 2013-02-26
Hardcover : 480 pages
70 members reading this now
131 clubs reading this now
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54 members have read this book
Recommended to book clubs by 46 of 49 members
Some stories live forever . . . Sage Singer is a baker. She works through the night, preparing the day’s breads and pastries, trying to escape a reality of loneliness, bad memories, and the shadow of her mother’s death. When Josef Weber, an elderly man in Sage’s grief support group, ...
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Some stories live forever . . .

Sage Singer is a baker. She works through the night, preparing the day’s breads and pastries, trying to escape a reality of loneliness, bad memories, and the shadow of her mother’s death. When Josef Weber, an elderly man in Sage’s grief support group, begins stopping by the bakery, they strike up an unlikely friendship. Despite their differences, they see in each other the hidden scars that others can’t, and they become companions.

Everything changes on the day that Josef confesses a long-buried and shameful secret—one that nobody else in town would ever suspect—and asks Sage for an extraordinary favor. If she says yes, she faces not only moral repercussions, but potentially legal ones as well. With her own identity suddenly challenged, and the integrity of the closest friend she’s ever had clouded, Sage begins to question the assumptions and expectations she’s made about her life and her family. When does a moral choice become a moral imperative? And where does one draw the line between punishment and justice, forgiveness and mercy?

In this searingly honest novel, Jodi Picoult gracefully explores the lengths we will go in order to protect our families and to keep the past from dictating the future.

Editorial Review

No editorial review at this time.


On the second Thursday of the month, Mrs. Dombrowski brings her dead husband to our therapy group.
It’s just past 3PM, and most of us are still filling our paper cups with bad coffee. I’ve brought a plate of baked goods – last week, Stuart told me that the reason he keeps coming to Helping Hands isn’t for the grief counseling but for my butterscotch pecan muffins – and just as I am setting them down, Mrs. Dumbrowski shyly nods toward the urn she is holding. “This,” she tells me, “is Herb. Herbie, meet Sage. She’s the one I told you about, the baker.” ... view entire excerpt...

Discussion Questions

Suggested by Members

Can you imagine having everything you had ripped from your arms? Family? Friends? Work?
Would you recommend this book and for what age level? High school summer reading?
by mlj1954 (see profile) 12/18/14

Does one ever truly regret evil actions that was committed in the past?
How could Sage love/hate Josef at the same time?
How was the story written by the grandmother a metaphor for the life she had lived as a Jew in the concentration camp?
by bmullinax (see profile) 06/24/14

We had 57 discussion questions from an online book guide. Wow! Too many!
by Deemann11 (see profile) 05/29/13

The motivations of the different important persons is a good topic of discussion. Whether Sage did
the right thing in the end. Why did the grandmother keep silent all those years. Do you think it was a
good idea? What are the implications of Sage's final acts?
by judycocherell (see profile) 05/22/13

Notes From the Author to the Bookclub

No notes at this time.

Book Club Recommendations

I would not recommend my Jewish friends to read this.
by TXCOLITCHICK (see profile) 05/15/15
Graphic genocide is a tough topic to read. Especially to those who lost all of their family during or prior to WWll just because those family members (Jews and non-Jews)did not conform with the Nazi regime or were not Arian-enough in appearance.
Very well written but a tough read because of all the horror!
by elainebrush (see profile) 05/14/15
by Farm (see profile) 02/03/15
We had a very fancy bread with a chocolate filling. It was wonderful.
I wish I had thought to bring bread
by mlj1954 (see profile) 12/18/14
I make bread. I love it. I love to make it and I would have brought in a loaf of my challah for our book club meeting.

Member Reviews

Overall rating:
by Kimmieart (see profile) 09/09/15

by Terimckinnon (see profile) 05/22/15

  "The Storyteller"by TXCOLITCHICK (see profile) 05/15/15

The author did her homework with the genocide in the death camps, Nazi SS intimidation, the propaganda of the Nazi regime, and the correlation with an evil such as vampires.

  "The Storyteller"by elainebrush (see profile) 05/14/15

Very compelling but sad with real stories of the what the SS did to the prisoners in the concentration camps during WW11.

by graciesheart (see profile) 02/10/15

  "The Storyteller"by Farm (see profile) 02/03/15

This book was a real eye opener.

  "The Storyteller"by Lindajpen (see profile) 01/28/15

The story is about basically four main characters whose lives are intertwined because of the Holocaust during WWII and present day. Definitely makes you think.

  "The Storyteller"by Scheelite (see profile) 01/28/15

by jennb719 (see profile) 01/11/15

  "and then I couldn't put it down!"by mlj1954 (see profile) 12/18/14

For the most part, I don't like Jodi Picoult's books. To me she had always followed basically the same formula. I wasn't necessarily happy when our book club picked this book. Didn't buy ... (read more)

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