Sage Singer befriends an old man who’s particularly beloved in her community. Josef Weber is everyone’s favorite retired teacher and Little League coach. They strike up a friendship at the bakery where Sage works. One day he asks Sage for a favor: to kill him. Shocked, Sage refuses… and then he confesses his darkest secret—he deserves to die, because he was a Nazi SS guard. Complicating the matter? Sage’s grandmother is a Holocaust survivor.
What do you do when evil lives next door? Can someone who’s committed a truly heinous act ever atone for it with subsequent good behavior? Should you offer forgiveness to someone if you aren’t the party who was wronged? And most of all—if Sage even considers his request—is it murder, or justice?
As I mentioned I was instantly drawn to this book when I read the description. I’ve read a ton of books that have been based on Holocaust survivors and their stories and this one has definitely been added to my list of favorites. The story is told from 3 points of view: Sage, Josef, Sage’s grandmother Minka, and finally Leo an officer for the Department of Justice. At first I thought this would make it a confusing read but it actually helped understand the over all story much better. While I enjoyed listening to Sage and Leo’s story, I found myself most drawn to Josef and Minka’s. I felt the parts of the book where they were the primary narrators was much more developed and detailed. Reading their stories was a page turner.
Jodi Picoult is a fantastic storyteller and she did an amazing job recounting what a Holocaust survivor might have gone through during World War II. Her details make it seem like you’re actually a part of the story. I would be lying if I said I didn’t get emotional as I read the Minka’s part of the story. And I’m sure your will too. I highly recommend you read this book. It will really make you wonder what you would do if you were put in Sage’s shoes. Oh and the end was 100% shocking! I did not see the twist coming at all! Yes, there is a twist! That alone should make you want to read the book! 🙂