Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult

Published in 2007. 455 pages.

This is Jodi Picoult's latest novel, and like those I've already read (and the others I'm planning to read for the Summer Reading Challenge), it deals with difficult topics. The focus of this one is a high school shooting, not unlike Columbine. My son Sugar Bear was born the day of the Columbine shootings, so in some way that'll always be part of my consciousness. The connection between Nineteen Minutes and Columbine is even more evident for me because during the week that I was reading the book, I saw a presentation by Rachel's Challenge - an organization that spreads the message of kindness and compassion espoused by Rachel Scott, the first person killed at Columbine.

Picoult's books are not easy to read from a emotional standpoint - maybe especially for a mother. But her characters are well-developed - and "real" - and she presents the reader with a view of the world through the eyes of many of them. In Nineteen Minutes, this enables us to relate to everyone from the detective to the shooter to his parents. There is not much that is black and white - which, in my opinion, is an accurate depiction of the world.

Here, on Picoult's website, is more information about Nineteen Minutes, including a Q&A with Picoult about the novel and book club discussion questions.

By the way, readers of some of Picoult's other novels might like to know that Nineteen Minutes features the return of two characters - defense attorney Jordan McAfee from The Pact (which I read earlier this year) and Salem Falls, and Patrick DuCharme, the detective introduced in Perfect Match (which is up next for me in the Summer Reading Challenge).



  1. I liked this one a lot. Tough as it was to read. I thought Picoult did an excellent job of showing both sides of the story!

  2. This is on my to be bought list! Thanks for the review.

  3. I think this is on TBR Mountain, or at least I think I bookmooched it recently, so it should be!

  4. I finished reading it yesterday. My review is written and should be up by tomorrow at the latest after I edit it.

    Her books hit hard!

  5. Hi! whenever I finish a book (which hasn't been too often this year), I turn to you. I got 19 minutes at the library Saturday morning and finished it Sunday night. I couldn't put it down and am still surprised my eyes work. The onnly problem I had with it was the adult characters of the judge/mother and the cop. they seemed so stereotypical characters to me. Perhaps the kids were, too, but they struck me as truer. But I had no idea, until I came to your site tonite, that Picoult had written so many books. I'm a bit put off by the cover art, but I will pick up another. The 19 minutes action took place an hour away from me, so it was doubly involving for me.