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Monday, 1 February 2016

19 Minutes

Book Title: 19 Minutes
Author: Jodi Picoult
Publisher: Hodder / Hachette
19 Minutes, by Jodi Picoult, touches upon a very pertinent and relevant subject: school shootings. A global outrage has followed after every incident in the US where the occurrences are most common. A lot of outrage is spilled on the offender, where naming the offender a terrorist-versus-disturbed have now taken up public discussions by storm. 19 Minutes looks into this very dilemma, and yet, goes down into the more nuanced aspects of high school life, of teenagers, of bullying and a state of social marginalisation and antagonism that tends to culminate in such incidents.

Sterling is an ordinary New Hampshire town where nothing ever happens--until the day its complacency is shattered by an act of violence. Josie Cormier, the daughter of the judge sitting on the case, should be the state's best witness, but she can't remember what happened before her very own eyes. As the trial progresses, fault lines between the high school and the adult community begin to show, thereby destroying the closest of friendships and families. Nineteen Minutes asks what it means to be different in our society, who has the right to judge someone else, and whether anyone is ever really who they seem to be.


The writing is fluid, clear and filled with a kind of accurate detailing that lends the story a humane angle. The book nose dives into the mindset of the one behind the entire crime, while contrasting it sharply with those on the other side of the fence - the ones forced to bear the brunt of the crime through its consequences. 19 Minutes is every bit the peace read, especially as the issue of gun control and the rising occurrences of teenage crime continue to remain concerns.