2018 Mar 15
As a midwife, Lacy Houghton brings lives into the world. She didn’t expect her son to take them away.
But that’s what he did one March morning, when he walked into his high school with guns instead of books and killed ten people.
Along with the rest of the shocked and grief stricken town, Lacy is left wondering when her shy 17 year old boy turned into a monster. And was it her fault?
In the aftermath of the shooting, Lacy searches the past for clues and begins to realize that despite, or perhaps because of, her every effort, she never really knew her son at all…
With the ongoing fear-striking gun violence in the USA, you’ve probably heard a story not unlike the one told in Nineteen Minutes. It arouses the many questions that were brought up following the tragedy at Columbine High School in April, 1999, and makes you question what happened that fateful day; what could have pushed a young high school student to do such a thing? Would you ever be able to understand things from his point of view?
Similar to her other works, Picoult portrays the unfolding event, as well as what led to it, through each character’s perspectives. The moment you start thinking you can see how the bullying could have gotten so out of hand, Picoult manages to make you think twice about feeling sorry for Peter Houghton. The moment you see a fleck of innocence in that young man, she manages to bring out a raged and violent psychopath.
However, the deeper you go into the book, the more insight you gain into the mindsets of each character, making you question everything you think you know. In quite the unseen plot twist, the ending is, beyond a doubt, not what you would expect.
It is a sensitive topic, yet one that needs to be spoken about, and Picoult has done it justice.