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A Spark of Light

A Spark of Light 2

by Jodi Picoult

Paperback Publication Date: 02/10/2018

5/5 Rating 2 Reviews
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At Mississippi's sole remaining women's reproductive services clinic, a gunman bursts in and takes hostage of its patients and staff.

The stories that bring these individuals together vary, from a woman awaiting cancer screening results, to a protestor hoping to catch the clinic in a scandal that could be used in a pro-life campaign. Then there is the police hostage negotiator, whose daughter is also trapped inside the facility, and the gunman himself, who has a vendetta to carry out.

Meanwhile, across the state, a 17-year-old woman lands in the hospital after an attempt to self-terminate her pregnancy and is subsequently charged by the pro-life DA for the murder of her unborn child. They, too, are connected to the events unfolding in the clinic.

As the book moves backward in time, each chapter set one hour earlier than the next, we learn how all these people and their stories are unwittingly connected--and that none of these characters' reasons for being where they are at this fateful place and time are exactly what it appears at first glance.

Provocative, timely and gripping; the masterful new novel from Jodi Picoult asks: what makes a life?

ISBN:
9781760110512
Category:
Contemporary fiction
Format:
Paperback
Publication Date:
02-10-2018
Jodi Picoult

Jodi Picoult is the author of twenty-two novels, including the #1 bestsellers The Storyteller, Lone Wolf, Between the Lines, Sing You Home, House Rules, Handle with Care, Change of Heart, Nineteen Minutes and My Sister's Keeper.

She lives in New Hampshire with her husband and three children.

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  • What is your attitude to abortion?

    by on

    Jodi explores the attitude of different people including doctors, law enforcement and pro- lifers to the topic of abortion through a thrilling murder and hostage situation. Written in an unusual style she follows the story backwards hour by hour.

  • yet another informative, insightful and thought-pr

    by on

    A Spark of Light is the twenty-third novel by popular American author, Jodi Picoult. In Jackson, Mississippi, a women’s clinic that provides, amongst other services, abortions is targeted daily by pro-life campaigners. They harass the staff and the clients as they enter and leave. But today is different: a gunman has entered the building and begun shooting.

    Trained police hostage negotiator, Detective Lieutenant Hugh McElroy is soon on the scene to talk to the gunman, but within minutes learns that his daughter, Wren and his sister, Bex are inside the clinic along with other innocent hostages. As he tries to reason with the shooter, those inside struggle to help the injured without further enraging their captor.

    The day’s events, as they unfold over ten hours, are told in reverse, with an epilogue resolving the dramatic end of the first chapter. As the story follows the path that directs each character to their destiny at the Clinic, their thoughts and dialogue give the reader a deep appreciation of their nature, their challenges, their passions. The shooter’s motivation and the series of events that leads up to his shocking actions illustrates how easily misunderstanding, desperation, a deficit of compassion and happenstance together can end in tragedy.

    Picoult never hesitates to tackle controversial topics, nor does she in this latest work. The main issue is, of course, abortion, but many other related topics feature: the legal obstacles, the reason doctors and nurses work in these clinics, the for and against arguments, the situations where abortion seems appropriate, the fallacies that are spouted by pro-lifers, inequity between laws that protect the foetus and those protecting the mother, the legal inconsistencies between states, the import of illegal abortion drugs from China, and even the semantics surrounding the issue.

    While many will feel that her treatment of the topic is balanced, Picoult’s latest novel is bound to polarise readers. The depth of her research is apparent and she backs it up with an extensive bibliography. In the Author’s Note, Picoult gives a succinct quote regards pro-lifer activities from a woman who has had an abortion: “I don’t need people shaming me because of a choice that already hurt my heart to have to make.” Picoult gives the reader yet another informative, insightful and thought-provoking read.
    This unbiased review is from an uncorrected proof copy provided by Allen & Unwin.