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Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult

Jodi Picoult's "Nineteen Minutes".

I found the synopsis from
here.

In this emotionally charged novel, Jodi Picoult delves beneath the surface of a small town to explore what it means to be different in our society.

In Sterling, New Hampshire, 17-year-old high school student Peter Houghton has endured years of verbal and physical abuse at the hands of classmates. His best friend, Josie Cormier, succumbed to peer pressure and now hangs out with the popular crowd that often instigates the harassment. One final incident of bullying sends Peter over the edge and leads him to commit an act of violence that forever changes the lives of Sterling's residents.

Even those who were not inside the school that morning find their lives in an upheaval, including Alex Cormier. The superior court judge assigned to the Houghton case, Alex — whose daughter, Josie, witnessed the events that unfolded — must decide whether or not to step down. She's torn between presiding over the biggest case of her career and knowing that doing so will cause an even wider chasm in her relationship with her emotionally fragile daughter. Josie, meanwhile, claims she can't remember what happened in the last fatal minutes of Peter's rampage. Or can she? And Peter's parents, Lacy and Lewis Houghton, ceaselessly examine the past to see what they might have said or done to compel their son to such extremes.

Rich with psychological and social insight, Nineteen Minutes is a riveting, poignant, and thought-provoking novel that has at its center a haunting question. Do we ever really know someone?

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Reading this book is like watching a movie with a lot of flashback scenes and deep portrayal of human interaction. My favorite quote from the book at the moment is: H = R/E, or happiness equals reality divided by expectation. E was always a number, since you could not divide by zero.

Updates: I'm done with reading in September 2009. Here's a blog post about my favorite gems from the book. :D

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