A Spark of Light

A Spark of Light

Book - 2018
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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 to 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 crosshairs 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. Told in a daring and enthralling narrative structure that counts backward through the hours of the standoff, this is a story that traces its way back to what brought each of these very different individuals to the same place on this fateful day. Jodi Picoult one of the most fearless writers of our time tackles a complicated issue in this gripping and nuanced novel. How do we balance the rights of pregnant women with the rights of the unborn they carry? What does it mean to be a good parent? A Spark of Light will inspire debate, conversation. and, hopefully, understanding.
Publisher: New York : Ballantine Books, [2018]
Edition: First edition.
Copyright Date: ©2018
ISBN: 9780345544988
0345544986
Branch Call Number: F PICOULT
Characteristics: 369 pages ; 25 cm

Opinion

From Library Staff

“This harrowing and insightful novel unwinds backwards in time over the course of a day during a tense hostage situation at a Mississippi women’s clinic and is told through multiple points of view: the gunman, the hostage negotiator, patients, clinic staff, and a right to life advocate. All sides... Read More »


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c
cgull
Nov 19, 2018

A disappointing book from Jodi Picoult. I didn’t like her writing style in this one and often found it repetitious. Not up to her usual writing standard.

Hillsboro_jenniFerg Nov 12, 2018

I actually enjoyed the writing style of this book. It was different for sure, starting from the culminating moment and then working backwards...but I sort of enjoyed it. I've read most of Jodi Picoult's books. I appreciate how she takes on controversial topics, but manages to stay neutral, which is what she does in A Spark of Light. I didn't think it was her best writing, and I even found a few parts to be a little redundant, but the book kept me interested enough to see it through.

c
caj1222204441801
Nov 10, 2018

Her books are usually top of the lot. This one missed by a mile. It was though she wrote it without caring. Characters were weak. Sorry, from her this was not her best effort.

p
pharra19
Nov 08, 2018

I have read all of Jodi Picoult's books, and admire the way she tackles difficult subjects.
But I found the writing style of this book extremely frustrating: it was incredibly difficult to follow the story line by reading the chapters backwards.
It all felt very gimmicky, and overshadowed the power of her subject.

l
LaurieAaland
Nov 08, 2018

Perfect, as always! Her novels stay with me, in my heart and mind, for a long, long time.

j
jmuscat
Nov 05, 2018

Was surprised with this book from one of my favourite authors. Usually she enthralls me with her message. Not this time. The going back and forth was very confusing, and frustrating.

l
LibraryLES
Oct 29, 2018

I am a big Jodi Picoult fan, but this book was not a favorite. I didn't think the story being written in reverse did anything but confuse the reader. Normally I am emotionally drawn into her books but was not with this one. Disappointed in this book.

d
dontbugmeimreading
Oct 27, 2018

I liked the story but I didn't like the way every chapter moved backwards one hour. It was worth sticking with it, though.

j
Jessi52
Oct 18, 2018

A tough subject matter delay with well. Enjoyed the book, I feel she did may out both sides of the argument.

s
sunnyfeline
Oct 17, 2018

I was not a big fan of this book. After coming off a high for her last book, "Small Great Things", I was disappointed with this book. It had the potential to be a great story but it fell short. Picoult starts this book with the ending at the beginning so it's almost like giving away the ending. But she does omit some important parts to not spoil the whole thing. Then the story goes backwards from that moment with the gunman and the negotiator in cross hairs. I echo what another book reviewer (darladoodles) said about it feeling very anti. Picoult said that she researched both sides, but I did not see that appear in the story itself by showing the positives and negatives of both sides equally. However, I thought her "Author's Note" had a lot of great points of what both sides could do to work together and help women by providing things like federally paid daycare, affordable & better healthcare, more access to birth control, longer maternity leave, etc. Would've loved to see more of that in the story itself since not everyone reads Author's Note.

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