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Name : Maria Elaine B.

My Reviews

Informative, Interesting, Insightful

Killers of the Flower Moon is an informative and at times shockIng portrayal of life for the Osage Nation at the turn of the 19th century, a time of inevitable cultural conflict with the discovery of oil beneath Osage land. Mineral rights remained with the Osage for oil pumped from tribal ground, bringing wealth to the Osage Nation. That wealth became the focus of unscrupulous white men intent on stripping the Osage of their dignity, their money, their land, and most shockingly, their lives.

Murders committed in the most brutal ways caught the attention of the newly formed Federal Bureau of Investigation and its ambitious young leader, J. Edgar Hoover.

As the authorâ??s narrative unfolds, a story of treachery, deceit, and greed is told in stark detail. A number of law enforcement personnel attempt to curb the violence increasingly directed at wealthy Osage citizens as they attempt to discover the identity of the killer(s).

The author clearly portrays in his narrative that things arenâ??t always as they seem to be. This book has it all...the good, the bad, and the ugly. The book ends on a disappointing note for me as Sheriff White, an honest lawman who went to extraordinary lengths to solve the mystery of the murders and stop the lawlessness in the Osage Nation homeland, is not rewarded in any meaningful way for his accomplishments.

Still today, family members of those Osage murdered or swindled out of what was rightfully theirs continue to look for answers to reveal the whole story of what happened to their forbearers and who was ultimately responsible for so many Osage deaths.

The book appears to be well researched with the author combing through available records and talking to contemporaries to learn family stories of the murders that have been handed down through the generations. I was surprised to learn that many records giving details of the murders appear to have been intentionally destroyed or were, perhaps, never written. I would have liked to have more content about Hoover and his handling of the Osage murders as well as more information about Sheriff Whiteâ??s life as he continued his law enforcement duties following these grim events.

Insightful, Informative, Beautiful

A Spark of Light, a Jodi Picoult novel, portrays one day’s activities in the last abortion clinic operating in rural Mississippi.

Picoult sets the mood for her story early on as she describes the rundown orange building that is home to the abortion clinic, the expanse of dusty parking lot patients must cross to reach the clinic doors, and the mob of pro-life activists crowding close to the clinic’s entrance, tossing threats and insults to both the women entering the clinic as well as the male doctor providing abortion services in the clinic.

Some women are at the clinic that fateful day to undergo an abortion procedure, and others are there as employees. Several are at the clinic seeking information and some are there in supportive roles of friends or family. No matter their reasons for being in the clinic that day, violence changes lives forever. Into this scene comes an angry and vengeful man whose roll in the story is gradually revealed as the reader moves through the novel.

This story makes it impossible for the reader to feel neutral in the abortion struggle churning in the U.S. Picoult presents in stark reality the process her pregnant characters must undergo before presenting themselves at the clinic to end their pregnancies. Once at the clinic, characters arrange themselves in utilitarian plastic waiting room chairs where they silently await their turn with the doctor, reluctant to make eye contact with others seeking the same procedure, while leafing through months-old magazines. Those women at the clinic for treatment of non-pregnancy related issues as well as those at the clinic simply seeking information are nonetheless caught up in the struggle for abortion rights.

Picoult clearly tells her story of abortion, making her fictional characters the bearers of her societal message: abortion is necessary and should be available to every pregnant woman regardless of the circumstances under which the pregnancies occur. Sometimes the need for abortion is extremely sad while for others an abortion thankfully releases women from the necessity of giving up dreams and goals that would be hampered by the birth of a child. Other times the decision to abort is plainly at the center of economic need. Providing these services is the clinic doctor whose fictional character is based on the real life Dr. Willie Parker. In his book, “Life’s Work, a Moral Argument for Choice,” Dr. Parker views the abortion services he provides as a calling from God.

I found Picoult’s pro-abortion story to be depressing. No matter how the topic is dressed up, no matter the reasons espoused, it’s a sad day when a life is taken through an abortion procedure. I wish Picoult would have explored other solutions to the unwanted pregnancies of her characters. Of course, that would have taken her story in a different direction, a direction more palatable for many of us.

The Nightingale: A Novel by Kristin Hannah
Dramatic, Informative, Inspiring

Insightful, Informative, Inspiring

Interesting, Informative, Difficult

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