BookBrowse Reviews Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult

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Nineteen Minutes

A Novel

by Jodi Picoult

Nineteen Minutes
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  • First Published:
    Mar 2007, 464 pages
    Feb 2008, 464 pages

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The author's insights into her characters' deep-seated emotions brings this ripped-from-the-headlines read chillingly alive. Novel

In her latest emotionally charged novel Jodi Picoult delves beneath the surface of small town America to explore the ubiquitous issue of school bullying and the less ubiquitous but increasingly frequent result of such bullying - a school massacre. Peter Houghton has endured 12 years of bullying at the hands of his peers, starting on his first day of kindergarten. His older brother is no support, in fact he's part of the problem; the school effectively does nothing; and Peter stopped trying to confide in his well-meaning but misguided parents after his mother threatened to stop him playing with the only friend he had in kindergarten (Josie Cormier) if he didn't toughen up and stand up to the bullies.

As a result, slightly built and bespectacled Peter withdraws into a world of video games and computer ...

Interesting to note:

  • Nineteen Minutes sees the return of two characters from Picoult's earlier novels: Defense attorney Jordan McAfee (The Pact) and detective Patrick DuCharme (Perfect Match).
  • The father of the shooter in Nineteen Minutes is a college professor whose area of expertise is the economics of happiness. Such a profession does exist and the equation that happiness equals reality divided by expectations is from real research. However Picoult invented the other equation - that expectation divided by reality equals hope.
  • When asked why she gravitates to controversial storylines, Picoult replies, "I think that sometimes when we don't want to talk about issues that are hard to discuss or difficult to face, it's easier to digest it in fiction instead of nonfiction. I mean, no...

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