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).