13 Nov 2020


Book 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.

Published:     30th October 2018
Publisher:  Hodder & Stoughton
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source:  Owned 

Trigger Warning - Abortion




This was a very interesting read indeed.   We follow a variety of characters in this story but the main one for me was Hugh, who was the hostage negotiator from the police but who also has a sister and daughter who are in the hostage situation itself.  He has torn between having to do his job in a proper manner but also wanting to storm in and make sure his family are safe.  

I know that I have given this book a 3 stars review but that doesn't mean that it wasn't good.  It was good but, for me, I had difficulties with keeping my concentration as the story progressed and trying to follow all of the characters in this story.  I do have to be honest and say that I did almost DNF this when I was halfway through because it just wasn't gripping me.  I don't think that it was because of the story or because of the variety of characters but I think it was more to do with the format the story was in that didn't work for me.  Instead of having your story run from the beginning and going through until you get to the end of the story, you have the dramatic potential end to the hostage situation and then we follow the story, hour by hour, as we go back in time and slowly see what happened the hour previously with each chapter.  

The above said aside, this story was shocking in how women are treated for the decisions they make in terms of abortion and certainly does make arguments for and against the choices that are made in this story.   It was certainly an eye opener to follow each of the characters, with the choices they make and the opinions they have in any given situation in this story.