A Spark of Light
Author: Jodi Picoult
This is a story told starting with the end. A gunman has entered a family planning clinic and has shot several of the people who work there. He has taken the rest hostage. The lead hostage negotiator has a daughter and sister that are trapped inside, but he doesn't want to step down. He wants to be able to get them, and everyone inside, to safety.
The book works backwards from the end of the situation to what caused it in the first place. Each chapter is one hour in the past, and the pieces are weaved together to get to the heart of why this was happening and to learn about all of the people involved. In typical Picoult fashion, there are surprises along the way - things you don't see coming.
This was a pretty good book. Picoult is always an up and down experience for me. She is an amazing writer and incredible author. But sometimes her stories are just so so. This was a tricky topic that she tackled and I applaud her for that. She has written books around racism and school shootings - really trying to write about both sides of the issue. That she does well. I am just not sure I loved the backwards timeline. IT was...fine. I think in some ways there were too many characters that she tried to get into the mix and at times it just got muddled. I think if she stuck with just maybe the top 3-4 characters and developed there timelines, it would have flowed easier.
This is a heavy topic and a very controverisal one. I have a feeling that anti-abortion and family planning advocates are going to have a hard time with this one. I felt she did a good job actually giving some light to that side of the fence, but when I read the comments on Amazon - that doesn't seem to be the way they see it. So you have been warned. And I agree with her - I don't think that these two sides will ever agree in our lifetime. But listening to both sides is a good place to start.