A Spark of Light by Jodi Picoult

A Spark of Light by Jodi Picoult
Bahni Turpin – Narrator
Audiobook - Duration: 13:03:12
Published October 2nd, 2018 by Random House Audio

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.

My thoughts…

A Spark of Light is the first book I’ve read by Jodi Picoult. The ladies in my book club talk very highly of her books and subject matter. In the past I’ve purchased a couple of her books for club, but I never felt the urge to read them. When the audio version of this book became available at the library, I added it to my ‘holds’ list and received it fairly quickly.

When I read the synopsis for this book, the topic attracted me. On November 27, 2015, a mass shooting occurred in a Planned Parenthood clinic where I live (Colorado Springs, Colorado), resulting in the deaths of three people and injuries to nine. I’m sad to say that A Spark of Light wasn’t for me.

The beginning of this book immediately grabbed my attention. Unfortunately, it slowed considerably and was more about abortion than the hostage situation. It begins at a women’s health clinic during a hostage crisis. All the characters at the clinic has their own backstory about what brought them to the clinic that morning. The timeline of the story didn't really work for me. It’s written in reverse chronological order, where every chapter goes back an hour. Listening to the audio version made it difficult for me to follow the timeline and to distinguish which characters point of view was being told. It reminded me of an old Seinfeld episode, "The Betrayal", starting with the final scene and playing in order backwards. It worked with the Seinfeld episode, not so much for this book.

Overall, this wasn't a book for me, but it may be more enjoyable for other readers. I’m not giving up on Jodi Picoult just yet, Small Great Things will likely be my next read from this author.

Happy Reading!



6 comments:

  1. I have liked some Picoult books much more than others. This one just didn't really appeal to me all that much. Sorry it was a bad fit for you. I hope your next read is much better.

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    1. Thanks Carole. I will give her books another try since they are popular with the library book club.

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  2. Sorry this didn't work for you. I've heard really great reviews for Small Great Things, so I hope that's a better fit. I used to read tons of Jodi's books and really loved them but it's been years since I've read a new one.

    -Lauren
    www.shootingstarsmag.net

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    1. I usually read at least three books by an author before I decide it I would like to continue to read from them. I think the time-line for this book is one of the big reasons why I didn't like it. I'm looking forward to reading Small Great Things, I've also heard wonderful things about it. Have a great day Lauren.

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  3. Sorry this one didn't work out for you. I haven't read it, but have read a couple of her other books which I've mostly liked except she does tend to overload the sentimentality for my tastes.

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    1. Oh yes, I have heard that her books do have quite a bit of excessive sadness. I wonderful if thats what makes her books so popular with book clubs.

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