Also by this author: Sing You Home
Published by Ballantine Books on October 2, 2018
Genres: Literary Fiction
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.
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.
#abortion #prolife #prochoice #abortionclinic #abortionclinicshooting #abortiondoctor #hostagenegotiator @jodipicoult @TheRealBahniT @PRHAudio
I am going to try very hard to keep even a hint of controversy out of my review of Jodi Picoult’s latest novel A Spark of Light. If I am successful, you won’t know any more about my opinion on the hot-button topic of abortion when I finish than you do now. Ms. Picoult has never been afraid to address subject matter that might make her readers uncomfortable. She is very passionate about women’s issues and women’s rights and she has the courage to infuse her passion into her writing. The storyline in A Spark of Light could not be more timely. I think open-minded readers and listeners will find both sides of the abortion issue presented. I also think how well you think each side is presented is going to be informed by your personal opinion on the matter. As usual the author has written authentic characters: people to whom you can relate and for whom you can feel empathy whether you agree with them or not. She has delved into complex family relationships that may not fit your preconceived notions of what constitutes a family. She has also written a book that paints a brutal portrait of intolerance gone violently awry. I have purposely avoided giving you my opinion on the subject of abortion, but there is no question where the author stands.
Bahni Turpin gives an excellent performance and she passes the “Southern Accent Litmus Test.” Not all the characters have Southern accents just as not all Southerners have Southern accents anymore, but Ms. Turpin credibly interprets the dialects and accents she uses. The author also spends some time at the end of the book eloquently defending her views — she would actually be a great narrator herself!
It wouldn’t be fair to my readers if I didn’t add these two footnotes: First, I’m not sure if it’s some new trend in writing or just the luck of the draw that I’ve read two consecutive books by authors I really like with a storyline that just jumps around all over the place. Because I was listening to the audiobook, I questioned at one point whether it downloaded incorrectly and the chapters got mixed up. So – just a word of warning – it really is written that way. Second, I am going to do something I don’t think I’ve done before and that is to recommend that those of you who are considering reading or listening to A Spark of Light read several reviews both positive and negative before plunging into a book that may not be right for you.