#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The author of Small Great Things returns with a powerful and provocative new novel about ordinary lives that intersect during a heart-stopping crisis.
“Picoult at her fearless best . . . Timely, balanced and certain to inspire debate.”—The Washington Post
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 to 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 crosshairs 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.
One of the most fearless writers of our time, Jodi Picoult 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.
Praise for A Spark of Light
“This is Jodi Picoult at her best: tackling an emotional hot-button issue and putting a human face on it.”—People
“Told backward and hour by hour, Jodi Picoult’s compelling narrative deftly explores controversial social issues.”—Us Weekly
Customer ReviewsSee All
Not your average Picoult novel
I am a huge fan of hers. ‘Small Great Things’ and ‘Leaving Time’ are my top 2 favorites...
This book must have required an extensive amount of research, and was an interesting read, but there were so many characters it was hard to remember who was who. My book club struggled most with that. This book can be highly controversial for some, regarding the topic of abortion and women’s health care services, therefore interesting to read, but it just didn’t give me the magic of ‘Leaving Time’ or the personal ‘A-ha’ feelings of ‘Small Great Things’.
Still worth a read, and I definitely think audiobook was the way to go for this one, but not in my top favorites of her work.
As usual, her story teaches through really interesting characters. The story is very modern day, relating to abortion legislation and current events from as recent as 2017. I really appreciated the insight into how these very real characters think and what motivated their actions and beliefs. I also liked Jodi’s educational closing in her own voice at the end of the audiobook, and the voice actress was amazing. I will point out that the story progresses backwards in time- which I found cool since it challenges your judgement as you learn more.
Debate or novel?
This book is more of an abortion debate than a novel. Not enough story. Learned much too little about the current stories of the characters and what happened next. They all had one thing in common - no mothers.