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Synopsis:

“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.”

Review:

This book really surprised me.

I did a buddy read for this book with a couple of my friends on BookTube plus a bunch of other fabulous ladies and I think it was the perfect book to discuss with others.

As this book deals with the topic of abortion, we got both sides of this important issue. We had character who were pro-life and others that were pro-choice. Hearing the argument on both sides really compelled the story and made me even more invested in it. Also getting to discuss this with a bunch of people also made it interesting. Like the characters featured in the book (though none of us publicly discussed which side we were on) we had people on both sides of the issue. Picoult dealt with this topic really well and neither side felt weighed down by the other.

As far as the characters, I liked them all. I think they all handled themselves in this difficult situation very well. I didn’t particularly have a favorite by I think the most intriguing character was the shooter himself. I wanted to know why he was doing what he was doing. Very interesting characters to read about.

Finally, let’s talk about the plot. This is where my issues with this book lie. While I found the plot to be interesting, it also made me feel disconnected from the characters. We have like 5 different perspectives in this book and while I don’t normally mind that, I don’t think it worked in this book’s favor. Also, because of the multiple perspectives, the timeline jumped around quite a bit and it left me feeling confused at some parts. Once again, I don’t normally have a problem with that but it just didn’t work for me in this case. Other than those issues, I felt the plot was fine.

Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by this book. Once again, I had a blast discussing this with other people and I think that if you are interested in picking this book up, that might be the way to go. Picoult is a very talented writer and her stories are, from what I’ve heard, very hard hitting so I will definitely be picking up more by her in the near future.

RATING 3.5/5

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