Thoughts on the books I've read.
This book is what I love about Jodi Picoult. I have read a large selection of her work, and I think this book by far is the best I have read yet. It was a completely different formula than most of her stuff (that formula being: ripped the the headlines-esque traumatic incident, courtroom drama, huge twist, weird resolution). This one took several threads of intertwined stories, but in a timeline that made sense. We started out of nowhere with a smidge of vampire story, then we begin with our main narrator, Sage. We learn about her family, her past, and her current situation. She has an acquaintance with an older gentleman. He comes to her in confidence, asking for an assisted suicide, because he has a huge burden of guilt over his past. Then the narration changes to him, and his story, and then to her grandmother, and her story, all the while the vampire story reappears and disappears. It ends in a back and forth of Sage and a government employee that she meets to help her sort out the stories she has been hearing.
Without giving too much away, this book was fantastic without all the usual tricks that Picoult usually employs. I would gladly label this as literary fiction, and not genre or pulp fiction. We learn about the characters in a way to be able to connect with them. The main theme of the book is about the monstrosity of humanity. I've read a few reviews that complain about the ending, wherein Sage doesn't seem to learn very much from the past mistakes of others. But I think it is fitting. We make mistakes, especially when we don't have all the information. It seemed like a very logical response, even if maddening.
Trigger warnings: violence against women / Nazi concentration camps