A spark of light : a novel

by Picoult, Jodi, 1966-

Format: Print Book 2018.
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Summary
The #1 New York Times bestselling author of Small Great Things returns with a powerful and provocative new novel about ordinary lives that intersect during a heart-stopping crisis.

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 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.

Advance praise for A Spark of Light

"Picoult delivers another riveting yarn . . . in this carefully crafted, utterly gripping tale." -- Booklist (starred review)
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "*Starred Review* Following up her hit Small Great Things (2016), Picoult delivers another riveting yarn about a hot-button issue this time, it's abortion rights, with a unique narrative format: the story is told backward chronologically over the hours of a tense hostage situation in a women's clinic. When we meet hostage-negotiator Hugh McElroy at the climactic showdown with George Goddard, the father of a teen girl who recently visited the clinic, we know that Hugh's own daughter, 15-year-old Wren, is one of the hostages; Hugh's older sister, Bex, who took Wren to the clinic that morning, has been shot; and that Hugh, like George, is a single father. As the hours tick backward, Picoult reveals what brought each of the characters to the clinic, from a struggling young waitress to an undercover anti-abortion activist to the devoted and devout doctor working at the clinic that day. Even though she's rewinding the story, Picoult manages to keep the tension high as we learn about the characters' personalities and situations. And there's a surprising reveal in the final pages that readers will likely find provocative. Picoult explores both sides of the abortion debate in this carefully crafted, utterly gripping tale, which acknowledges that there are no easy answers. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: This topical, daringly told, and suspenseful tale is sure to be another Picoult best-seller generating numerous requests.--Kristine Huntley Copyright 2018 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Drama abounds in Picoult's latest issue-driven novel (following Small Great Things) in which a hostage crisis in a women's health center/abortion clinic provides a look at a volatile subject. George Goddard, a lone gunman seeking revenge for his daughter's abortion, busts into the clinic in Jackson, Miss., killing and wounding several staff and patients. He holds a handful of them hostage, including Wren and Bex, the 15-year-old daughter and adult sister of Hugh McElroy, the police hostage negotiator assigned to the crisis. Meanwhile, Beth, a teenager in a hospital in Oxford, Miss., whose attempts to have a legal abortion were thwarted, takes medication to abort her 16-week-old fetus and nearly dies from blood loss. She is brought to a hospital and her life is saved, but the state prosecutor's office accuses her of murder upon finding out the reasons for her condition. Picoult's extensive research shines throughout, but the book's reverse chronological structure interferes with the complicated back stories, which include the gunman's reasons for going on a rampage; a doctor's path to performing abortions; why a pro-life believer goes undercover to the clinic to obtain damaging evidence; Beth's thwarted attempts to get a legal abortion; and the relationship between Wren, Bex, and Hugh. Nevertheless, this is a powerful story that brings clarity to the history of abortion and investigates the voices on both sides of the issue. (Oct.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects FICTION / Contemporary Women.
FICTION / Literary.
FICTION / Sagas.
Suspense fiction.
Publisher New York :2018.
Edition First edition.
Language English
Description pages cm
ISBN 9780345544988
0345544986
Other Classic View