A Spark of Light by Jodi Picoult

A spark of light

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.

π π π π

It’s been a while since I’ve read a Jodi Picoult novel. I’m so glad I picked up A Spark of Light! Not as good as my favourite, My Sister’s Keeper, but a great story from start to finish!

What’s different about A Spark of Light, is that it tells the story from the end to the beginning. Right away, the reader knows who is survives and who dies from a shooter coming into a women’s center. I liked this change for the most part and it was really well done. I didn’t love the last few chapters (the before and beginning of the shooting) because I had felt that we had already learned what happened before and why each person was at the clinic. It had felt redundant. I did love the connection at the end and was completely surprised! It was very well done.

I enjoyed all of the characters and you could really sympathise with all of them even though they had different views and opinions. I think Picoult did a great job showing all sides and views of abortion. It makes you feel and look into own opinions of the topic.

4 calculators out of a potential 5. Read it and I need to read more Jodi Picoult! Recommendations are welcome!


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23 thoughts on “A Spark of Light by Jodi Picoult

  1. My mom was actually one of the contributors to this book! Her name is in the thank yous in the back 🙂 Still haven’t gotten around to reading this though. So glad I keep seeing it get great reviews!


  2. I haven’t read Jodi Picoult before but I have read good reviews. I may have to try and get this one from the library soon.


  3. I enjoyed reading your review.
    Here is mine.
    I have been reading books by Jodi Picoult for many years and especially enjoyed Salem Falls and Plain Truth. When I read Leaving Time, I felt that the usual twist at the end was more of a trick. I also did not enjoy small great things, probably because it was so difficult to read about the Aryan supremacists. So…I wasn’t sure what I would find when NetGalley and the publisher so kindly gave me an ARC of this book.

    Ok, the drought is over! I found a spark of light to be a well-crafted, character based story. As was true in Nineteen Minutes, Ms. Picoult helps the reader to empathize with those who represent all sides of a complex moral and societal issue. There are many in the story: an abortion clinic owner, a nurse, an artist, an elderly woman, a young girl seeking birth control, a person in need of an abortion, a doctor, protesters, infiltrators, a hostage negotiator and more. Each of their stories is told in a narrative going backward in time. Interconnections between characters become clearer as the reader turns the pages.

    The primary setting is an abortion clinic that is under siege. It remains unclear who will live and who will not. There are some surprises at the end.

    The book is heavily researched. The reader will learn a lot about restrictions, types of terminations, pregnancy counseling, etc. Some times these felt a bit heavy handed but then I imagined what it might be like if I were a young girl and this was the one place that I could find a lot of facts.

    I highly recommend a spark of light. It will make you care and it will make you think.

    Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher!


  4. Great review Amanda. I am still waiting on this one from the library. One of her earlier books was also written this way and I found the same issue. By the time I finished the book, I thought there was some redundancy. I find that I always enjoy her books though. She is a great author.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Great review, I haven’t read a book by Jodi Picoult yet but I’ve been dying to read one of her many books for a long time now because I heard amazing things about them. And this one looks and sounds absolutely amazing and right up my alley as well, thank you so much for sharing your awesome post.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I waited months for this one to be released, I was so excited. By this point I had only read two of this authors books, but I was hooked. Sadly, I was disappointed. While the plot was excellent, the format completely ruined it for me. I was crushed. I have, however, read another book of hers since then, Salem Falls and bloody loved it! So hopefully I’ll enjoy her next newbie.

    Liked by 1 person

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