I am trying to read five books by Irish Authors for Reading Ireland month. This is my first and I really enjoyed it.
Published 2002 by Dutton
Published September 25th 2018 by Kensington Publishing Corporation
Published October 2nd 2018 by Ballantine Books
I wanted to read this book as I do love Jodi Picoult. I waited patiently until my name got to the top of the list at the library and then hurried to pick it up. Now I am not sure. I knew this book was dealing with pro-choice vs pro-life, but I am not sure how I feel after reading the book. I believe I am pro-choice, but I am also pro-life. I do not believe in using abortion for birth control, but in some situations, I can understand somewhat. Having said all that, how did I feel about the book. I did not like the way it was written. I am not a big fan of a backwards timeline and that really bothered me as I read this one. I did like the characters and how they were written and developed, this is a huge strength in Picoult’s writing. The plot was well developed if you read the book backwards, as the story was interesting and a good one. There was even a bit of a twist, although I had pretty much figured it out before it was revealed. All in all, this was a good book, but not a great one as I have come to expect from Jodi Picoult. Continue reading “A Spark of Light by Jodi Picoult”
2 Stars (It was okay)
Published August 1st 2017 by Simon & Schuster
When I started this book, I was expecting a mystery or suspenseful story based on what I thought the book was about, I was very disappointed. This story is about three characters; Cameron, Jade and Russ and what they learn about themselves in the aftermath of the death of a ninth grader, Lucinda. The mystery element is there, with the investigation here and there throughout the book, but it was almost an afterthought. I plugged away at the story, but found it very slow moving and there was not much happening until almost 75% of the way through. As we learn more about the three characters, we see their dark sides and their secrets. There is a lot of foreshadowing throughout the book, but it is still hard to catch the clues and information as you go through. Much of what we learn about the characters had nothing to do with the murder.
Having said all that, Danya Kukafka’s writing is beautiful. It’s lyrical and very descriptive. It often felt like you were in a dream or hazy foggy place wondering what would come next. I did not become attached to any of the characters while reading this book. It was not until the last quarter or so of the book where the real killer is revealed that had me interested. It moved quickly and the suspense built up.
I did not enjoy this book, but it does not mean others would feel the same way. If you are a fan of introspective writing styles and like books that explore inner turmoil or struggles of the characters, then you will probably enjoy this book much more than I did. As I said above, the writing is wonderful, I did not enjoy the story.
My Review: Joni, Deb, Trina & Eden have all been friends since the first day of high school. Joni brought the group together when the teacher made a comment about them all being born under the same sign. Joni actively sought each girl out and their group began. While growing up they were pretty much inseparable and shared everything as well as helping each other deal with things. In the book which is narrated by Joni, they are 30 and she is worried about them drifting apart. She has planned a girl’s weekend in a beach house. Because they have not shared their lives as much, with marriage and children happening, Joni suggests they each write a letter, not signed, sharing a secret. They will read the letters and offer solutions to the anonymous writer. This, Joni hopes, will rekindle the closeness they once felt. The letter sharing doesn’t go according to plan and when Joni finds a fifth letter that one of them wrote and tried to destroy, she embarks on a journey to determine who wrote the letter and would the person who wrote it follow through on what they put in it.
I enjoyed this book. The story flowed well and I rushed through it once I got about half way. It did start a bit slow, but got better as it went on. The story is told though flash backs and stories from their youth as well as what is going on in the present. The flashbacks help the reader to understand the friendship and personalities of the women. Of course, does anyone really know everyone’s secrets? I really wanted these women to work everything out as their friendship seemed so important to who they were, but as Joni says in the book, “Maybe you’re not suppose to stay friends with people from high school for so long after school. Maybe it just doesn’t work.” There were times that I really liked each character, and times where I didn’t. Joni seemed to be rather bullying and bossy at times, then you could see that this was a role foisted upon her by the others. Parts of this book were humorous, parts serious, and parts sad, which is exactly how life works. Throughout the story, I was constantly trying to figure out, who wrote that fifth letter. I recommend this book to anyone who likes women’s fiction, human drama with a bit of mystery to it.
by Bryan Mooney
My Review: I picked this book up thinking it was a light Christmas romance. Well, it was a romance, but there was so much more to it than that, including a Christmas miracle. We had some serious issues introduced in the story dealing with lack of proper funding for hospitals, police and fire services which causes hospital closures and people having to travel further for care as well as serious injuries and death of firefighters using faulty equipment. There was also a subplot about contractors not following proper rules and trying to bribe officials to get certified. Add in smoke jumpers and the dangers they face as well as metal and verbal abuse of women and you can see that this story is jam packed. The author did a great job of keeping these stories flowing and they all fit together using the two main characters Logan Mitchell and Dr. Elizabeth (Beth) Harding. They were childhood BFFs who were actually in love with one another but neither of them would admit it to each other. There is another subplot about Maria and Michael who are called in to help out at the short staffed hospital. I figured out their story pretty quickly, but I do not want to ruin it for anyone else. It might sound like there is a lot going on, and there is, but it kept me turning the pages to find out what was going to happen next. A great Christmas Story.