A Spark of Light by Jodi Picoult

A Spark of Light

4 Stars

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group, Ballantine Books

Date of publication: October 2nd, 2018

Genre: General Fiction, Women’s Fiction

Where you can find A Spark of Light: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Goodreads synopsis:

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.

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 review:

I went into reading A Spark of Light with an open mind. I am not a person who likes to read things that can start debates and cause strife in real life. Which is why I stick to romance/fantasy/horror..etc. So reading A Spark of Light for review is not something I would do. But I liked the blurb. I wanted to see what the author had to say about the Pro-Choice/Pro-Life debate. I wanted to see where this book would go. I will tell you all this. I was not expecting such a well-written book that explored both sides of the debate.

What I liked about this book was how it was written. It started at the end and ended at the beginning. This is a different written style then what I am used to and it could have failed. But, for me, it didn’t. I felt that it revealed everything at the right time. It wasn’t without its faults. There were times, at the beginning of the chapters, where I was confused by what was going on. But that cleared up after the first paragraph. Other than that, this writing style worked for me.

I also liked how the characters were portrayed. Instead of having a clear line between good and bad, the author blurred it. Which I thought was fantastic. Because of the topic she chose to write about, those lines should be blurred. The only one whose line wasn’t blurred was the shooter, George. But even then, I couldn’t help but have some pity for him.

I did like how the author handled the Pro-Choice/Pro-Life debate. She explored both sides and why the people felt the way they did. Take, for instance, the Dr. His decision to do abortions came from his mother dying of one in a backroom one when he was younger. He was deeply faithful but he also understood that women needed the correct medical help if they wanted to end a pregnancy. Or the undercover pro-choicer. She was trying to ease the guilt for an abortion she had when she was a teenager. She felt by being a fanatic about it, she would be absolved of sin. The author made me think about what each of those people was going through. What brought them to that clinic at that exact point in time.

The end of the book was good but I wasn’t satisfied. I wanted to know how the other storylines ended. The only one that was mentioned was Wren and we knew what happened to the other people who were within the clinic. Also, I wanted to know what happened to Beth. My frustration level with the ending was through the roof.

What I liked about A Spark of Light:

  1. Well written book
  2. The writing style
  3. How the author handled the Pro-Choice/Pro-Life debate.

What I disliked about A Spark of Light:

  1. The shooter
  2. How Beth was treated in the hospital
  3. The ending

I gave A Spark of Light a 4-star review. This is a well-written book that will make you think about the Pro-Choice/Pro-Life debate. I did have an issue with storylines not being ended and that did figure into my review. Other than that, I enjoyed reading this book.

I would give A Spark of Light an Adult rating. There is sex, but it is not graphic. There is language. There is violence. There are also scenes where abortions are done (both at home and at the clinic). I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread A Spark of Light. I would also recommend this book to family and friends. But I would throw in a warning about the abortion scenes.

I would like to thank Ballantine Books, Random House Publishing Group, and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review A Spark of Light.

All opinions stated in this review of A Spark of Light are mine.

**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**

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Weekly Wrap Up: September 23rd through September 29th

Books I’ve Read (clicking on the picture will bring you to Goodreads page):

The Rain Watcher

A True Cowboy Christmas (Cold River Ranch, #1)

The Hangman's Secret (Victorian Mystery, #3)

A Spark of Light

 

Mr. Nice Guy

Books I’ve Reviewed (clicking on pictures will bring you to the Amazon page):

A True Cowboy Christmas—review coming October 31st, 2018

A True Cowboy Christmas (Cold River Ranch, #1)

The Hangman’s Secret—review coming January 9th, 2019

The Hangman's Secret (Victorian Mystery, #3)

The Christmas Wishing Tree—review here

Christmas on Mistletoe Lane—review here

The Ancient Nine—review here

The Ancient Nine

Mr. Nice Guy—review coming October 16th

Mr. Nice Guy

The Christmas Wishing Tree—review coming September 26th

The Christmas Wishing Tree (Eternity Springs, #15)

NetGalley Haul(clicking on the picture will bring you to the Goodreads page):

Limetown: The Prequel to the #1 Podcast

The Duke I Once Knew (Unlikely Duchesses, #1)

The Corner of Holly and Ivy: A feel-good Christmas romance

White Stag (Permafrost, #1)

The Girls at 17 Swann Street

Email Request (clicking on the picture will bring you to the Goodreads page):

Until We Are Free (Until #1)

Weekly Posts:

Weekly Wrap Up

Music Monday

WWW Wednesday

Throwback Thursday

Foodie Friday

Freebie Sunday

WWW Wednesday: September 19th, 2018

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Wars. So here what I have read/are reading/will be reading.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


What’s going on with me this past week:

Unlike the eastern part of North Carolina, my area didn’t get hit that hard by Florence. We had some branches down and rain. Which I am thankful for. Week 3 progress reports are coming home. Miss B is not doing that well in ELA or Science. Mr. Z seems to be doing well in his classes. Miss R is enjoying preschool. They had a field trip to an apple orchard yesterday and she came home with a bag of apples. This weekend, we have comic con. It was supposed to be last weekend but Florence happened. So it was rescheduled for this weekend. I can’t wait to go.

Reading wise, I surprised myself. I ended up finishing all of my What I’m Reading Next and wrote reviews for them. Go me!!!


What I am currently reading:

Bright Ruin (Dark Gifts #3)

click on the picture for Amazon link

Magically gifted aristocrats rule–and commoners are doomed to serve. But a rebellion threatens the old order. The dystopian trilogy that began with Gilded Cage and Tarnished City concludes.

In a world where the lower classes must endure ten years of forced service to unfairly advantaged, magically powered rulers, a teenage boy dreams of rebellion, his older sister yearns for love and knowledge, and a dangerous young aristocrat seeks to remake the world with his dark gifts. In Bright Ruin, the final book in the trilogy set in modern-day England, our heroes will lead a revolution that will transform–or destroy–the world.


 

 

What I finished reading:

Our Life in the Forest

Click on the picture for Amazon link

In the near future, a woman is writing in the depths of a forest. She’s cold. Her body is falling apart, as is the world around her. She’s lost the use of one eye; she’s down to one kidney, one lung. Before, in the city, she was a psychotherapist, treating patients who had suffered trauma, in particular, a man, “the clicker”. Every two weeks, she traveled out to the Rest Centre, to visit her “half”, Marie, her spitting image, who lay in an induced coma, her body parts available whenever the woman needed them.

As a form of resistance against the terror in the city, the woman flees, along with other fugitives and their halves. But life in the forest is disturbing too—the reanimated halves are behaving like uninhibited adolescents. And when she sees a shocking image of herself on video, are her worst fears confirmed?

Our Life in the Forest, written in her inimitable concise, vivid prose recalls Darrieusecq’s brilliant debut, Pig Tales. A dystopian tale in the vein of Never Let Me Go, this is a clever novel of chilling suspense that challenges our ideas about the future, about organ-trafficking, about identity, clones, and the place of the individual in a surveillance state.


 

 

What I am reading next (click on the pictures for Amazon links):

The Christmas Wishing Tree (Eternity Springs, #15)Mr. Nice GuyA Spark of LightThe Hangman's Secret (Victorian Mystery, #3)The Rain Watcher

 


So that’s it. Be on the lookout for the reviews of all these books in the near future.

Have you read any of these books?

Let me know what you thought of them!!

Weekly Wrap Up: September 2nd through September 8th)

Books I’ve Read (clicking on the picture will bring you to Goodreads page):

Worldwielder

Dead Girls Don't Love

Sadie

The Breakup (The Jordan Brothers)

Dagger's Edge (Brute Force #2)

 

Cowboy, Cross My Heart (Heart of Texas, #2)

Books I’ve Reviewed (clicking on pictures will bring you to the Amazon page):

Sadie—review here

Sadie

The Breakup—review here

The Breakup (The Jordan Brothers)

Dagger’s Edge—review here

Dagger's Edge (Brute Force #2)

Cowboy, Cross My Heart—review here

Cowboy, Cross My Heart (Heart of Texas Book 2) by [Grant, Donna]

Daughter of a Daughter of a Queen—review here

Sold on a Monday—review here

Sold on a Monday

Second Chance At Two Love Lanereview here

Second Chance At Two Love Lane

NetGalley Haul(clicking on the picture will bring you to the Goodreads page):

What About Us (Panic, #4)

A Spark of Light

An Anonymous Girl

Email Request (clicking on the picture will bring you to the Goodreads page):

Weekly Posts:

Weekly Wrap Up

WWW Wednesday

Throwback Thursday

Foodie Friday