I have been reading books by Jodi Picoult for many years and especially enjoyed Salem Falls and Plain Truth. When I read Leaving Time, I felt that the usual twist at the end was more of a trick. I also did not enjoy small great things, probably because it was so difficult to read about the Aryan supremacists. So…I wasn’t sure what I would find when NetGalley and the publisher so kindly gave me an ARC of this book.
Ok, the drought is over! I found a spark of light to be a well-crafted, character based story. As was true in Nineteen Minutes, Ms. Picoult helps the reader to empathize with those who represent all sides of a complex moral and societal issue. There are many in the story: an abortion clinic owner, a nurse, an artist, an elderly woman, a young girl seeking birth control, a person in need of an abortion, a doctor, protesters, infiltrators, a hostage negotiator and more. Each of their stories is told in a narrative going backward in time. Interconnections between characters become clearer as the reader turns the pages.
The primary setting is an abortion clinic that is under siege. It remains unclear who will live and who will not. There are some surprises at the end.
The book is heavily researched. The reader will learn a lot about restrictions, types of terminations, pregnancy counseling, etc. Some times these felt a bit heavy handed but then I imagined what it might be like if I were a young girl and this was the one place that I could find a lot of facts.
I highly recommend a spark of light. It will make you care and it will make you think.
Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher!