Jodi Picoult has tapped into many of the current hot button topics in American culture in her many bestselling novels. Most of them involve parents and children, husbands and wives. These novels are not lighthearted romps. While there is always a resolution to the conflict, there has also been serious damage done to the protagonists, emotional and physical. Picoult also likes to take a set of circumstances and twist the perspective. All of this may be why she is more popular with book groups than the New York Times reviewers.
This is certainly the case in Nineteen Minutes, the unnerving story of a school massacre (Columbine?). Once again things are not always as they seem. While engaging our emotions, Picoult tells a riveting story with a surprise ending.
Other new entries on the List are Whitethorn Woods by Maeve Binchy and Sugar Daddy by Lisa Kleypas.