A Spark of Light by Jodi Picoult

spark of light

“It stood to reason that both life and death began with a spark of light”

5/5 stars


Fiction – Contemporary

Goodreads Summary

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.


Where to even begin? I have heard that Jodi Picoult writes some wonderfully powerful novels. After reading my first of hers, I found that to be entirely true!

I’m honestly having a hard time figuring out what to even say about this book because I know I will not do it justice. This story is filled with heavy—and I mean heavy—content. Any book with a plot centering on abortion is sure to be. And you may be thinking to yourself, I don’t want to read a book that is going to shove either pro-life or pro-choice perspectives down my throat. But I’m telling you, this book is more without bias than I could have imagined. Picoult does a stunning job of giving equal perspectives. She communicates these issues in a way that, no matter how opinionated you are on the matter of abortion, will open your eyes to see a glimpse into the hearts of people with differing opinions than yours.

I found this book to be unputdownable—it was captivating, gut wrenching, and relevant. So long as you begin this book understanding that the timeline is told backward, I think you will thoroughly enjoy and be blessed by it. This is a piece of fiction that captures an alarmingly accurate picture of humanity today. Whether you like it or not, it’s the truth.

Pick this one up ASAP! I’d love to chat about it after you’ve read it!

Author Jodi Picoult’s website

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