How Peter Houghton Changed the Lives of the People of Sterling in Nineteen Minutes, a Novel by Jodi Picoult

Categories: Nineteen Minutes

"In nineteen minutes, you can mow the front lawn, color your hair, 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. Nineteen minutes is how long it took the 'Tennessee Titans to sell out of tickets to the play-offs. It's the length of a sitcom, minus the commercials. It's the driving distance from the Vermont border to the town of Sterling, New Hampshire.

In nineteen minutes, you can order a pizza and get it delivered. You can read a story to a child or have your oil changed. You can walk a mile. You can sew a hem. In nineteen minutes, you can stop the world, or you can just jump off it.

In nineteen minutes, you can get revenge." The title of this book is significant because it is saying that in nineteen minutes a lot can happen.

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In this short period of time it can change your life for the better or it can change it for the worst. In this story it particularly changes people's life for the worst. In Nineteen Minutes Peter Houghton changes many people's life and ended some others. Peter shot ten, injured nineteen, and horrified the whole town of Sterling in only nineteen minutes. The title explains that just in an instant your world can be flipped and that's what happens to the characters in this story. I believe the title means that we frequently forget how quick life can be taken away from us.

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We live on our own time yet forget we don't control what will happen in that time. We get caught up in life and forget to focus on what really matters. We can all relate to Josie because we all worry to much on what others think instead of doing what makes us happy. In the middle of that we forget who we are and that's what happened to her.

The title of the book, Nineteen Minutes, relates to the story because in nineteen minutes Peter Houghton changed so many lives. In nineteen minutes he made a nightmare parents feared come true. In nineteen minutes Peter chose to destroy his and others life. In an instant everything can change even under nineteen minutes however, it can be changed for the better if we choose to deal with it correctly. In Nineteen Minutes terrible things happen to good people but when terrible things happen it can make you stronger or help you grow as an individual. Alex alowed what happened strengthen her at the end of the story. She let it carve her into a better mother, helping her show more affection for the ones she loves. In the ending of this story not everyone gets a happy ending but Picoul shows that you can take a hardship in your life and help it change you for the better.

While reading this book I had the chance to relate to Peter and how he felt during the years he was bullied and tormented. I have been bullied, harassed, and looked down upon by others. have never been bullied to the level Peter was however I know the feeling of not being excepted by the people you are surrounded by day by day. Bullying is a real problem today and can really affect a person's life and how they look at themselves. Nineteen Minutes really opens your eyes to realize that what you say and do to others really does affect them whether you are joking or not. These types of situations happen in real life and can be prevented if we choose to treat people the way we want to be treated. No one wants to feel alone or have words of hatred spoken to them. Nineteen Minutes shows how much misery a person can manage before breaking.

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How Peter Houghton Changed the Lives of the People of Sterling in Nineteen Minutes, a Novel by Jodi Picoult. (2023, May 18). Retrieved from

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