What can you do in nineteen minutes? You can take a walk around the block, give your dog a bath, style your hair… In nineteen minutes, the town of Sterling stopped.
The town of Sterling never really had too much excitement until Peter Houghton, a 17-year-old high school student, shoots over 20 students and teachers at Sterling High School. In nineteen minutes, Peter took ten people’s lives.
The novel centers around Judge Alex Cormier, a Supreme Court judge, her daughter, Josie, Detective Ducharme, and Peter and his parents, Lacy and Lewis. Josie and Peter used to be best friends until one day they weren’t.
Jodi Picoult brilliantly flashes back and forth between the past and the present, revealing more information in each flashback. We find out why Josie and Peter stopped being friends, why Lacy couldn’t just go back to being a midwife after Peter’s shooting, and more. We also find each ebb and flow that motivated Peter’s passionate rage against his fellow students.
Peter will be remembered for awful those nineteen minutes of rampage, but who will remember the other nine million minutes of his life?
I haven’t read a really good book like this in a long time. Nineteen Minutes kept me engaged and wanting to get to the bottom of Peter’s reasoning and the story of Josie’s secret life. I didn’t want to put the novel down. Jodi Picoult beautifully articulates the pain, love, and confusion that comes from a tragic event like a school shooting.
One thing that I really enjoyed was the fact that the reader got to see so many perspectives in the span of 18-ish years. The novel flashed back to before Peter and Josie were born to months after the shooting.
If you are looking for a fast read that is gripping and suspenseful this is the book for you.
If there is anything that I learned from the book it would be this- bullying does so much damage. Please be kind and courteous to those around you.
Questions for You
- How did you spend your weekend?
- Does anyone have any packing/unpacking tips? I’m moving this week and it is cra-zay!