A Spark of Light by Jodi Picoult

spark.png

Pages: 352

Publisher: Random House Publishing – Ballantine

Published: October 2, 2018

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

I will start my review saying I will NOT discuss the political sides of abortion or whether I think it is right or wrong.

George Goddard, an upset father, takes it upon himself to teach the women and doctor at the state’s only abortion clinic a lesson, by taking them hostage. He blames everyone there, patients and staff, for what has happened to his daughter.

After the first shot was fired, Hugh McElroy, a hostage negotiator, was one of the first one scene. What he doesn’t realize is that his fifteen year old daughter is inside with her aunt, his sister. Hugh has depend on his training and the others inside to keep his daughter safe.

Through the eyes of a nurse who is a patient, the doctor who performs the abortions, a retired professor facing a death she cannot control, the distraught father, an anti abortion protestor, a young woman who felt abortion was her only way out and a scared teenager we learn of the many different reasons humans make the decisions they do.

You can guarantee that when you pick up a Jodi Picoult book you will be made to dig deep inside yourself and think. You may not agree with the issue being discussed but you will be forced to see the issue from every side.

I was not sure if I would like the narrative structure The Spark of Life was written in but by the end I was glad it was written backward, meaning we start with the most recent hour of the hostage standoff and work our way back to how it all began. It forced me to question why and take more of the facts given into consideration.

A great book for book clubs as many discussions can arise while reading. Expect tears and heartache as you read.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Random House-Ballantine through NetGalley. Any and all opinions expressed in the above review are entirely my own.

Alaskan Holiday by Debbie Macomber

alaskan

Pages: 224 (eBook)

Publisher: Random House

Published: October 2, 2018

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Josie has spent the past six months in Ponder, Alaska cooking at the town’s lodge while waiting for her dream job to begin in Seattle with Chef Anton. A position others in her culinary school class would have loved to had. What Josie did not expect was to fall in love with the town and a particular young bachelor, Palmer, the local swordsmith. The night before she is to leave, Palmer tries to propose. Even if Palmer had been more romantic with his proposal Josie was still not going to stay. She has worked too hard to get her dream position. After missing the last ferry leaving Ponder for the season, Josie blames Palmer for her situation. In order to save what is left of their relationship Palmer finds a sea-tac plane leaving in a couple of weeks. When Josie gets to Seattle she realizes she left her heart in Ponder. Can Josie and Palmer find a way to both be happy and be together?

I can’t start celebrating Christmas reading until I have read a Debbie Macomber Christmas story. Macomber has a knack for making one believe in love and happily ever afters especially around Christmas. I appreciate she can show love at its finest in a clean way. She doesn’t feel the need to have sex scenes sully the beauty of true love.

This is the perfect book to grab on a cold, blustery Sunday afternoon while sitting in front of the Christmas tree sipping peppermint cocoa. It is the perfect length to read in one sitting.

I received a complimentary copy from Random House Publishing through NetGalley. Any and all opinions expressed in the above review are entirely my own.

Cottage by the Sea by Debbie MaComber

cottage

Pages: 352 (eBook)

Publisher: Random House Publishing

Published: July 17, 2018

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Annie is learning to adjust to life without her entire family. After eighteen months she has decided to go to one the place that she remembers from her childhood as a time of love and happiness. Will this place be the healing Annie needs?

A beautiful story or healing and love. You not only have healing from a personal tragedy, you have healing of a past that has frozen one to life of agoraphobia, and healing of animals that bring comfort and joy to all they touch.

I appreciate how Debbie Macomber can write about love without smutting it up. She keeps it clean and respectful. Her characters can argue nd get their point across without throwing out curse words every other word. You can rest assured that an impressionable young woman can read this book and walk away without being shocked.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Random House Publishing through NetGalley. Any and all opinions expressed in the above review are entirely my own.

A Nantucket Wedding by Nancy Thayer

wedding.jpg

Pages: 305 (eBook)

Publisher: Random House Publishing

Published: April 3, 2018

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

In September Alison and David are going to start the rest of their life together by getting married on Nantucket but first they must get their respective grown kids and their families together. Alison plans on doing this by inviting all the families to David’s Nantucket house every weekend over the summer.

Alison has two daughters. Her oldest is Jane who has always been her rule following, corporate world daughter who is married with no children. Her other daughter Felicity has always marched to her own drummer and is married with two kids of her own. By visiting the island of Nantucket the girls have found a friendship in each other that they didn’t know was there but is everything as it seems in their married lives?

David has a son and daughter. His oldest is his daughter, Poppy. She is married with two kids and one on the way. Her goal is to take over the family business as soon as she can and it doesn’t matter who or what is in her way she will succeed. His youngest is Ethan. Ethan is happy living on his farm in Vermont growing flowers for this business and living life how he wants even though he has a daughter who lives with him except for summer break. Are they ready to share their dad, the business and their lives with new family?

I needed a pick-me-up book and this fit the bill. You have romance, family, and beautiful scenery. I would not classify this as a romance book but as a fiction book that anyone, male or female, would be interested to read. Thayer focus’ more on how families meld as older generations marry. You have plenty of generations covered from babies to what I call mid-life 50s and 60s. Thayer takes the time to develop each of life her characters are in and lets is follow them as they develop into the next of stage of life.

The scenery of Nantucket is breathtaking and inspiring. You can understand why Alison chose the Nantucket beach house as the place to bring the families together.

It is that time of year to start sitting outside in your favorite rocker with a glass of sweet tea and losing yourself in the world of books and this is the perfect start to spring/summer reading.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Random House Publishing through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Surprise Me by Sophie Kinsella

surprise me

Pages: 448 (eBook)

Publisher: Random House Publishing

Published: February 13, 2018

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Sylvie and Dan have married for ten years and are the couple who finish each others sentences and know what the other is thinking before they speak. They are the quintessential couple. After a trip to the doctor they panic and their lives as they know it start to unravel. Dan becomes more and more angry as Sylvie and starts closing himself off to Sylvia. Sylvie thinks more about her deceased dad which angers Dan more. Fights happen more and jealousy starts. Their plan to surprise each other to spice things up brings more surprises than either anticipates. Will the biggest surprise tear Sylvie’s world apart or can she and her marriage come back stronger and better than ever?

My rating was almost a 3 star rating but the last quarter of the book saved it. Even though the book is about Sylvie and Dan, Sylvie is the main character and she starts off as a whiney brat that I just wanted to smack. I don’t condone smacking someone but she needed it. Heaven forbid things did not go as planned as she was hell on wheels. Her husband had a lot more patience than I would have as even her friend.

I was not too keen on how they looked at “long-term” marriage. They almost viewed it as a death sentence. Are you telling me they seriously did not think about this before saying I do. Did they not think about their age and how long they could possibly live and do the math and think wow, we could be married for 68 years? Personally my goal is to be married as long as my grandparents will be in April of this year which is 70 years (impossible for us unless we live to be in our 120s).

As I mentioned above the last quarter of the book saved it for me. There is a moment that Sylvie has with her neighbor John that changes everything…” Love is finding one person infinitely fascinating. […] And so…not an achievement, my dear […] Rather, a privilege.” I find this one moment in the book the most romantic moment in the book. I hope it moves you as much as it did me.

Thank you to NetGalley and Random House Publishing for a copy to read and review using my own honest thoughts and opinions.