In nineteen minutes, you can mow the front lawn, color your hair, watch a third of a hockey game. In nineteen minutes, you can bake scones or get a tooth filled by a dentist; you can fold laundry for a family of five....In nineteen minutes, you can stop the world, or you can just jump off it. In nineteen minutes, you can get revenge.
Sterling is a small, ordinary New Hampshire town where nothing ever happens -- until the day its complacency is shattered by a shocking act of violence. In the aftermath, the town's residents must not only seek justice in order to begin healing but also come to terms with the role they played in the tragedy. For them, the lines between truth and fiction, right and wrong, insider and outsider have been obscured forever. Josie Cormier, the teenage daughter of the judge sitting on the case, could be the state's best witness, but she can't remember what happened in front of her own eyes. And as the trial progresses, fault lines between the high school and the adult community begin to show, destroying the closest of friendships and families.
Nineteen Minutes is New York Times bestselling author Jodi Picoult's most raw, honest, and important novel yet. Told with the straightforward style for which she has become known, it asks simple questions that have no easy answers: Can your own child become a mystery to you? What does it mean to be different in our society? Is it ever okay for a victim to strike back? And who -- if anyone -- has the right to judge someone else?
Bestseller Picoult (My Sister's Keeper) takes on another contemporary hot-button issue in her brilliantly told new thriller, about a high school shooting. Peter Houghton, an alienated teen who has been bullied for years by the popular crowd, brings weapons to his high school in Sterling, N.H., one day and opens fire, killing 10 people. Flashbacks reveal how bullying caused Peter to retreat into a world of violent computer games. Alex Cormier, the judge assigned to Peter's case, tries to maintain her objectivity as she struggles to understand her daughter, Josie, one of the surviving witnesses of the shooting. The author's insights into her characters' deep-seated emotions brings this ripped-from-the-headlines read chillingly alive. (Mar.) Copyright (c) Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
-- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
Showing 1-6 of the 6 most recent reviews
1 . BEST PICOULT BOOK
Posted August 16, 2011 by Gina , United StatesThis is a book every high school student should read. I was became obsessed with this story and the way it was written. Definitely a must read. Loved the connection between the characters. Very very good book!
2 . great book
Posted February 19, 2011 by Jen Ben , PennsylvaniaI thought this book was really good! I love how Picoult tells the story through multiple points of view! It is a great read and really makes everyone think of their own days in high school and what it felt like to try to "fit" in. I would really recommend this book!
3 . Amazing
Posted March 04, 2010 by Laurie , SacramentoI never wanted to put this book down. The way Picoult wrote this book was surprising and exciting. This is by far her best book!
4 . Picoult's Best
Posted December 20, 2009 by Allison , Princeton, WVI've read several of Jodi Picoult's books, and this one is by far my favorite. It is amazingly in depth, yet a quick read that causes you to really think and process the material for days after the book is over. Would completely recommend!
5 . Her Best
Posted June 07, 2009 by Kelly , AlaskaJodi Picoult is an amazing story teller. In this book she captures the desperation that accompanies being a teenager. She has a gift for being able to share with the readers many points of view and in this book she is at her best.
6 . Touching story that makes you think!
Posted February 12, 2009 by Tami , ColumbusThis is an unbelievable story that gives the reader a perspective of what it is like to be bullied and to finally have had enough. Jodi Picoult gives the characters such life that it makes the story even more enjoyable. This is one that all teens should read. It will make them think how they treat others just because they are different.
March 06, 2007
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Excerpt from Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult
March 6, 2007
In nineteen minutes, you can mow the front lawn, color your hair, watch a third of a hockey game. In nineteen minutes, you can bake scones or get a tooth filled by a dentist; you can fold laundry for a family of five.
Nineteen minutes is how long it took the Tennessee Titans to sell out of tickets to the play-offs. It's the length of a sitcom, minus the commercials. It's the driving distance from the Vermont border to the town of Sterling, New Hampshire.
In nineteen minutes, you can order a pizza and get it delivered. You can read a story to a child or have your oil changed. You can walk a mile. You can sew a hem.
In nineteen minutes, you can stop the world, or you can just jump off it.
In nineteen minutes, you can get revenge.
As usual, Alex Cormier was running late. It took thirty-two minutes to drive from her house in Sterling to the superior court in Grafton County, New Hampshire, and that was only if she speeded through Orford. She hurried downstairs in her stockings, carrying her heels and the files she'd brought home with her over the weekend. She twisted her thick copper hair into a knot and anchored it at the base of her neck with bobby pins, transforming herself into the person she needed to be before she left her house.
Alex had been a superior court judge now for thirty-four days. She'd believed that, having proved her mettle as a district court judge for the past five years, this time around the appointment might be easier. But at forty, she was still the youngest judge in the state. She still had to fight to establish herself as a fair justice -- her history as a public defender preceded her into her courtroom, and prosecutors assumed she'd side with the defense. When Alex had submitted her name years ago for the bench, it had been with the sincere desire to make sure people in this legal system were innocent until proven guilty. She just never anticipated that, as a judge, she might not be given the same benefit of the doubt.
The smell of freshly brewed coffee drew Alex into the kitchen. Her daughter was hunched over a steaming mug at the kitchen table, poring over a textbook. Josie looked exhausted -- her blue eyes were bloodshot; her chestnut hair was a knotty ponytail. "Tell me you haven't been up all night," Alex said.
Josie didn't even glance up. "I haven't been up all night," she parroted.
Alex poured herself a cup of coffee and slid into the chair across from her. "Honestly?"
"You asked me to tell you something," Josie said. "You didn't ask for the truth."
Alex frowned. "You shouldn't be drinking coffee."
"And you shouldn't be smoking cigarettes."
Alex felt her face heat up. "I don't -- "
"Mom," Josie sighed, "even when you open up the bathroom windows, I can still smell it on the towels." She glanced up, daring Alex to challenge her other vices.
Alex herself didn't have any other vices. She didn't have time for any vices. She would have liked to say that she knew with authority that Josie didn't have any vices, either, but she would only be making the same inference the rest of the world did when they met Josie: a pretty, popular, straight-A student who knew better than most the consequences of falling off the straight-and-narrow. A girl who was destined for great things. A young woman who was exactly what Alex had hoped her daughter would grow to become.
Josie had once been so proud to have a mother as a judge. Alex could remember Josie broadcasting her career to the tellers at the bank, the baggers in the grocery store, the flight attendants on planes. She'd ask Alex about her cases and her decisions. That had all changed three years ago, when Josie entered high school, and the tunnel of communication between them slowly bricked shut.