A Spark of Light by Jodi Picoult
No author can capture real world problems quite like Jodi Picoult can. In her latest novel, A Spark of Light, Picoult tackles the popular debate of pro-choice versus pro-life. The majority of the novel takes place within the walls of Mississippi's one and only abortion clinic, the Center. Within the first few pages, readers learn that the staff and patients of the Center are being held hostage by a gunman, while the police, SWAT team, and lead negotiator, Hugh McElroy, work from outside. The situation intensifies when Hugh discovers that his daughter, Wren, is one of the patients being held captive, along with a nurse who risks her life for everyone else; Wren's aunt; a faithful doctor; a pro-life protestor disguised as a patient; an elderly woman waiting for a check-up; and a young woman who has an appointment to terminate her pregnancy. Not only is A Spark of Light's narrative gripping and emotional, but it is unique because Picoult provides us with the ending of the story within the first few pages. The book works backwards in time from 5:00 pm, at the conclusion of the hostage situation, to 8:00 am, when patients first start arriving at the clinic, revealing the choices and circumstances that conncected the characters and brough everyone to clinic.
Jodi Picoult has once again outdone herself with A Spark of Light and provided readers with a beautifully written, relevant novel that will result in countless, significant conversations.
Reviewed by Alyssa McCarty, Butman-Fish Library