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. A pro-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.
I really enjoyed reading this book with Brandie@Running on Words and Wine! It made a great buddy read with a lot to chat about. Brandie and I seemed to be on the same page with our thoughts on the storyline as well as the layout of the book. I’m looking forward to future buddy reads with her!
This book started off really strong! A gunman has shot and killed multiple people in an abortion clinic and has several others held hostage. I was wowed right from the start and couldn’t wait to see where this story would go.
Jodi Picoult wrote this story using a reverse timeline. The story unfolds in ten hours with an epilogue at the end. I thought this format was unique and looked forward to seeing how it would play out.
Upon finishing this story I felt extremely conflicted. I asked myself…Did I like it? How would I rate it? My answers were – I don’t know. After much thought this is what I have come up with…
As a thriller, as I said above, this story started off really strong. I was completely invested and wanted to know more about several characters. Her character development was fantastic! We learn why each of them were at the clinic that day, their background stories, and so on. As the story continued I felt that this reverse timeline actually hurts the intensity of it. I started to care less and less about the characters and got to the point that I just wanted to get to the dramatic conclusion and see how it would end.
As a story about the very controversial subject of abortion – this story is fantastic! I think she did an extremely good job of showing all sides of it. There was the abortion doctor and nurses, patients who got abortions, anti-abortion activists, and so on… This is a very well researched book! She included many real-life cases and people, and drew attention to the law that varies from state to state. I appreciated the fact that this is not a one-sided story and allows the reader to form their own opinions about this subject.
As for the ending I was also a bit torn. I liked the way she wrapped it up in some ways, but in other ways I felt like there were unanswered questions and story lines that I wish she had revisited.
There is no doubt that this book will make an exceptional book club read! Would I recommended this book? Yes. I would encourage you to read it and form your own opinion.
*Thank you NetGalley, Ballantine Books, and Jodi Picoult for the opportunity to read and review this book for my honest opinion.
My Rating: 4/5
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Publication Date: 10/2/2018
Pages: 352 (eBook)
*Book 13/20 in the #20booksofsummerreading challenge.
Let’s get social…