Book Review: A Spark of Light – Jodi Picoult

Rating 3 Star

A Spark of LightSynopsis: 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.

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All of the Jodi Picoult books I have ever read have been brilliant, to the point where I struggled to put them down. So, I was a bit surprised and disappointed when this book turned out to be a bit ‘Meh’.

From the blurb, you already know that there will be a shooting at a women’s health clinic. Great, I thought. Another Jodi Picoult book that focuses on a gritty, real life issue. I was really excited to get stuck in to it. However, there were a few issues that led to me feeling a bit ‘Meh’ about this book.

The other Jodi Picoult books I have read have been SO gripping, but I just wasn’t feeling it with this one. I didn’t realise that the book would be entirely about abortions. This isn’t necessarily a problem, but at some parts it honestly felt like I was reading an information leaflet because it was information overload.

The story is also told in reverse order. So, it starts with the ending, which kind of took away from the suspense for me because I already knew how it was going to end. I have read other books that have done this, and it worked find. But not this time unfortunately.

Also… the ‘twist at the end. I’m not even sure it can be called a twist. I didn’t find it to be particularly believable, but also.. I didn’t really understand why the ‘twist’ had been kept secret for so long. It just felt unnecessary.

 

Now enough of the negatives. The thing I love about Jodi Picoult is that she doesn’t shy away from controversial subjects and this was certainly the case with this book. And it felt neutral, which I really appreciated. It wasn’t biased towards being pro-life or pro-choice. Jodi Picoult seems to have a way of seeing things from both sides, and that can never be a bad thing.

Would I recommend this book? Probably not.
Will I still read Jodi Picoult? Most definitely.

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