Nineteen Minutes Character Analysis

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Nineteen Minutes is Jodi Picoult’s staggering and heartbreaking story about the devastating aftermath of a small town tragedy. The story begins in the town of Sterling, New Hampshire, following the lives of the citizens on an ordinary day. That all changes when there is a shooting at Sterling High. Throughout the story, there are flashbacks to before and after the killings and the reader learns about the history of each of the characters, and how that has influenced their journey throughout the novel. We are shown the once close relationship between Josie and Peter, and also about Peter’s rocky home life where Peter is often outshined by his older brother whose death creates a rift that puts him even farther from his parents. . The jumps back in…show more content…
Throughout the trial we learn more about what actually happened, the catalyst for Peter’s actions and the perhaps not so innocent victims. Peter is eventually convicted and is sentenced to life in prison. A month after the final sentencing, Peter commits suicide by stuffing a sock down his throat. One year after the shooting we are taken back to Sterling High where a memorial had been erected and a plaque calls the building a “safe harbor” the validity of which could be called into question, because for many of the students, despite social standing, didn’t feel that Sterling really was a “safe harbor.” Many schools and situations are not “safe harbors” for students. In fact, the idea that it is possible to create an environment that will be completely rid of any dangers is ludicrous, but expecting a child to be able to manage that rocky situation on their own is even more absurd. A very poignant moment in 19
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