Thursday, November 20, 2008

Nineteen Minutes

Another Jodi Picoult novel came into my hands. Nineteen Minutes starts off with a bang. She is known for putting intense and controversial subjects as the focus of her books and this one I found hard to read. Not because it's poorly written or it doesn't hold my focus but because its subject is something that no one can imagine having to live through. A school shooting leaving ten dead, many more injured and lives changed forever. The perpetrator one teenage boy, a misfit, an overly sensitive outcast. I am imagining my own son, in some ways so much like the murderer. Small for his age, an easy bully target, very sensitive. Where does it all go wrong in a child's life? Can the parents be held accountable or is it just a bend of nature? It's horrific, from all points of view it is written from - the one girl who was intentionally spared, the mother of the murderer, the prosecutor, the police investigator, the murderer himself. Amongst many things it's a call to take a look at our children, about being more present in our kids lives even when they don't want us there anymore like in adolescence, probably especially in adolescence. Stop the world and get off from time to time, and acknowledge that we are all human and sometimes we as parents aren't right and don't have all the answers. As always, there is a surprise twist toward the end but this time I found slightly implausible. Also, I found an overuse of similes. But all that aside it is an intense book that left me feeling uncomfortable and slightly fearful for the future.

1 comment:

Brenda said...

I must admit I don't find the time to read fiction very often. Your comments on your blog are so funny - you sound like a very humorous person. I know what you mean about the flickr site for posting our pics from class being a very lonely place! I try and make a comment on everyone's pictures. You are quite talented - would love to see you post your work on your blog.