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A Spark of Light
A Spark of Light by Jodi Picoult
No current Talk conversations about this book.
Abortion may be the most polarizing issue today in the US. As usual, Picoult tells a story that has many twists. Still not sure about the reverse chronology as some of the people got jumbled in my head. I expect to be thinking about this book for a while. ( )
2.5 stars. For me, it doesn't really matter which side of this issue the author is arguing for... the story is just not all that interesting, and her exploration of the issue isn't groundbreaking or enlightening. As one reviewer mentioned, reading the author's note gives better insight into the issue than the book itself. Each character is only minimally developed - I didn't feel a deep connection to any of them. The twists were easy to predict. Maybe I've reached my limit on books by this author. Maybe the reverse timeline made me lose interest? This one was not for me.
Review tk, but... wow. Well done. A little bit too overwrought at times, but an excellent job or portraying very many challenging perspectives in a cohesive format.
I might upset some people with this but please bear with me. I'm both Pro-Life and Pro-Choice. Of course I believe that a woman should have the choice to do what she wants with her body, and being from the UK and belonging to a fairly atheiest community this isn't an arguement that happens a lot where I'm from. However - here come's the big caveat - I'm pro-life. I'm Pro-Life because I'm 38 and so far apparently unable to have a child. It's not because I haven't found the right man yet, I've had him in my life for the last 16 years. It just seems that my body just doesn't want to do that for us. So I think about all those ladies who have abortions and wonder why their child can't be mine. They can be selfish, they wouldn't have to keep it, I'd take it and give it everything. So the one thing I think that Jodi is missing from her book is me. A no name character, sat near the entrance to the center holding a sign saying "I can't have a child, can I have yours?" I saw adoption mentioned in the book, Joy's story was sad but they are not all like that. Someone who was desperate to adopt would've balanced the story well. I know I'm pouring my life into this review but that's what I do, I write how books make me feel.
I really didn't want to like it, and there were lots of times that I didn't, but overall I think that it's a necessary book that humanizes both sides of the argument while still maintaining a strong pro-choice conviction. I agree with other reviewers that it got a little boring, that one part of the ending was unnecessary, that we were fed the same arguments over and over again, and that it would have been more powerful if they hadn't mentioned certain things in the very beginning but waited for them to unfold, even if the story was in reverse. I still enjoyed the read, however. I never really felt any strong emotion toward any of the characters. They did have very distinct voices, but I think that the number of narration switches took away from the characters and made it hard to get to know them. I also just didn't find some of the ones that I was clearly supposed to root for very likable. It's still 4 stars but probably rounded up from 3.5.
"The #1 New York Times bestselling author of Small Great Things returns with a powerful and provocative new novel about ordinary lives that intersect during a heart-stopping crisis. The warm fall day starts like any other at the Center a women's reproductive health services clinic its staff offering care to anyone who passes through its doors. Then, in late morning, a desperate and distraught gunman bursts in and opens fire, taking all inside hostage. After rushing to the scene, Hugh McElroy, a police hostage negotiator, sets up a perimeter and begins making a plan to communicate with the gunman. As his phone vibrates with incoming text messages he glances at it and, to his horror, finds out that his fifteen-year-old daughter, Wren, is inside the clinic. But Wren is not alone. She will share the next and tensest few hours of her young life with a cast of unforgettable characters: A nurse who calms her own panic in order save the life of a wounded woman. A doctor who does his work not in spite of his faith but because of it, and who will find that faith tested as never before. Apro-life protester disguised as a patient, who now stands in the cross hairs of the same rage she herself has felt. A young woman who has come to terminate her pregnancy. And the disturbed individual himself, vowing to be heard. Told in a daring and enthralling narrative structure that counts backward through the hours of the standoff, this is a story that traces its way back to what brought each of these very different individuals to the same place on this fateful day. Jodi Picoult one of the most fearless writers of our time tackles a complicated issue in this gripping and nuanced novel. How do we balance the rights of pregnant women with the rights of the unborn they carry? What does it mean to be a good parent? A Spark of Light will inspire debate, conversation. and, hopefully, understanding"--
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Melvil Decimal System (DDC)813.54 — Literature English (North America) American fiction 20th Century 1945-1999
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