Review: A Spark of Light by Jodi Picoult


Release date: October 2, 2018

Publisher: Ballantine

Genre: 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.


Oh my god you guys, I actually read this book months ago and I’m still thinking about it today. As soon as I received a copy I dropped everything and started it and it totally blew me away. It has her trademark hard hitting subject matter and deeply moving storyline and she rips her storylines straight from the headlines like no ones else does. If you read one book I recommended this year I urge you to make it this one, I feel like we can all learn something profound from this book.

The structure of this was amazing, it’s told in reverse order which always sounds super confusing but if it’s done well then it’s a little bit of magic and if anyone has the magic touch it’s Picoult. I don’t know how else to describe her writing other than to say it’s beautiful and even poetic at times and she’s writing about this god awful tragedy and still hope and beauty shines through.

Abortion is arguably one of the hottest of hot button topics of all time and I so admire how Picoult examines the issue from every single angle you can think of, and also from some you would never think of yourself. She forces you to consider your own personal values and morals while doing so sensitively and with so much respect. I don’t usually expect straight up fiction novels to be twisty but she also manages to throw a knock down punch (or two) that made me gasp in disbelief. This book was total perfection in my eyes and I cannot wait to see where she takes me next.

Spark of Light in three words: Profound, Emotional and Incredible.

Overall rating: 5/5

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.

11 thoughts on “Review: A Spark of Light by Jodi Picoult

  1. facingthestory says:

    Excellent review! I know exactly what you mean about her expression and style of writing on hard hitting subjects. The topics are always controversial yet she handles them with such ease, it’s incredible. I can’t wait to read this book!

    Liked by 2 people

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