In nineteen minutes, you can mow the front lawn, color your hair, or 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. As the trial progresses, fault lines between the high school and the adult community begin to show, destroying the closest of friendships and families. 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?
Nineteen Minutes is the fourteenth novel by the American author, Jodi Picoult. It was Picoult’s first book to debut at #1 on the New York Times Best Seller list.