Saturday, 21 July 2018

A Spark of Light by Jodi Picoult

A Spark of Light

From Goodreads

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. 

My thoughts

As always Jodi Picoult has covered a controversial topic in this book. Her books are always thought provoking and most would make good reading group reads.

In this sample chapter that I was able to read with thanks to the Publishers and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review, that will be altered if and when I read the full book. I gave it a 4 stars or 8/10.

Based around a Women's Medical Centre where medical care is given to all women, where gynaecological treatment and abortions are carried out. This sample sets out nicely the scene as a hostage situation is taking place. As usual there are many characters from both sides of the fence, so to speak who are both for and against the termination of life. Who determines what happens to a woman's body with regards to bearing a child? Surely, the woman should be able to determine what happens to her own body. Sadly, this is not always the case and as most of us know that Abortion is still and always will be a very touchy subject for many, in a religious, moral and emotional way. It's not something that most women will enter into without giving it a lot of thought, the consequences of their decision will stay with them forever.

This is going to be another unputdownable read by her. I can't wait to read more about the characters and the impact that the hostage situation will have on them.

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