A spark of light jodi picoult review

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a spark of light jodi picoult review

A Spark of Light by Jodi Picoult

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.
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Published 15.07.2019

Jodi Picoult on "A Spark of Light," moving beyond legislating abortion rights

A Spark of Light by Jodi Picoult review: hesitant exploration of shooting in clinic

Jodi Picoult: scrupulously fair in representing different opinions, from protesters to the doctor who carries out the terminations to those who need them. Photograph: Deborah Feingold. International success as a writer comes with a burden. Readers want the same thing over and over again, and for it to feel new every time. A Spark of Light , the latest novel by bestseller Jodi Picoult, ticks many of the usual boxes.

The topic is difficult, divisive, and controversial, but Picoult handles it courageously and fairly. Within the fast-moving story, there are moments of writerly depth.
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Picoult has written about gun violence before, most notably in Nineteen Minutes , about a school shooting, in which she manages to elicit a certain amount of sympathy for the shooter — even though we know he has committed a terrible, awful crime. Here, though, the shooter may be a parent but as with her previous book, Small Great Things in which one of the narrators, a new father, is a skinhead who enjoys going out on gay-bashing expeditions , his actions are so odious that we may well understand why he carries them out while at the same time feeling the awful wrongness of them., A Spark of Light by Jodi Picoult begins with chilling, compelling premise.

I guess I was expecting Picoult to be a Stephen King of the emotions, and an unnamed prejudice made me suspect that her books might favour plot over prose. I knew Picoult specialised in sadness. If I picked up a bestselling book by a blockbuster author, sadness was usually the one emotion I was trying to escape. Picoult sees humans at their best, while understanding them at their most fragile. This detail is rooted in fact.


  1. Eloise M. says:

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  2. Mariangeles T. says:

    A Spark of Light book. Read reviews from the world's largest community for readers. The warm fall day starts like any other at the Center—a women's.

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