A Spark of Light, by Jodi Picoult

A Spark of Light, by Jodi Picoult
Published by Hodder & Stoughton, 30th October 2018
Genres: Contemporary fiction
Format: Hardback
Source: Purchased (second-hand)

Trigger warnings: mass shooting, hostage situation, domestic violence, abortion, sexual assault


The Center for women’s reproductive health offers a last chance at hope for many desperate women. But for the protestors who picket outside on a daily basis, the service it offers is no better than legalised murder. When a lone man with a gun enters the Center and starts shooting, life and death decisions become horrifyingly real.

After his rampage through the facility, the gunman takes 7 hostages: a fifteen-year-old virgin and her aunt, an abortion doctor, a nurse, an abortion patient, an undercover pro-life protestor and an elderly woman. Will hostage negotiator Hugh McElroy, brother and father to two of the hostages, be able to defuse the situation before it’s too late?

My thoughts

This is not an easy book to read, but boy is it worth it! Besides the difficult and contentious topic of abortion, there is also the tension of a hostage situation, family drama and heartbreak. It really tugged at all my emotions! This book is beautifully written and absolutely heart-wrenching.

It was very thought-provoking and eye-opening as well. It is unbelievable what women go through to get an abortion in the United States; the legal hoops they have to jump through, the prejudice they face and the abuse which is thrown at them by protestors at the door to the clinics. Not to mention the struggles faced by the medical professionals who are simply trying to give these women the choices they deserve.

The timeline of events is reversed, which I found really interesting. The story starts at 5 pm, at the culmination of the hostage negotiations, and then goes back, agonising hour by agonising hour. The reader learns about each character and what brought them to the Center on this particular day. This was a very unique way of telling the story and I really enjoyed it.

If you are in the right frame of mind and able to take on this heavy subject, I would definitely recommend this book.

My rating: 5/5

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