Select language, opens an overlay
A Spark of Light

A Spark of Light

Large Print - 2018
Average Rating:
Rate this:
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 crosshairs 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.
Publisher: Waterville, Maine : Thorndike Press, a part of Gale, a Cengage Company, 2018.
Edition: Large print edition.
Copyright Date: ©2018
ISBN: 9781410463753
Branch Call Number: LPF PICOULT, JODI
Characteristics: 571 pages (large print) ; 23 cm.
large print,rda


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Oct 27, 2020

I loved the way I could see the different perspectives from people throughout the book. I had a hard time with the format since we were continually going backwards in time. The timeline kind of annoyed me to be honest, but I really liked the characters and the message behind the story. Would definitely recommend this book to a friend.

Oct 04, 2020

Couldn't get into this book for some reason.

Aug 25, 2020

Jodi Picoult never disappoints. This is one of my favourites of hers. I love how her stories have hidden interconnections among them.

May 06, 2020

The factory of Jodi Picoult books.
I know she tried to show both sides, but the characters are so extreme that it becomes blasé. She’s poor, he’s super rich. The dad’s a good dad, but his wife left him. His daughter is a great kid, but…. His sister is an artist-a 180 from her cop/detective/negiotator brother who’s a great guy. Whoops. More secrets.
I finished it. That’s all I can say.

Feb 01, 2020

I have also read several of her books. have to say that this obviously pro choice author has NO clue what the prolife advocates are trying to do in a positive way for women in our community of Columbia, MO. We, in our nation right now, have more centers to HELP young mothers in crisis than there are “Centers”—there are some 300 to 1 women’s healthcenters/abortion factories, where they DO sell baby parts illegally in our country. It reads backward, all around, the end is anti climatic. The epilogue says it all. If I could give a no star, I would.

K_ROK Sep 25, 2019

I found that the story being told backwards was something I had to get used to and the middle did feel a little bogged down however I can appreciate the author's attempt to bring attention to the important societal topic of abortion in the United States. At the very least this book can ignite some deep discourse among its readers.

Aug 03, 2019

I have read several of her other books and enjoyed very much. This one was so disappointing to me. It was difficult to follow and keep track of the characters - bounces all over the place. Very slow reading. I struggled to read to the end. I would not recommend to others.

Jul 30, 2019

So disappointed in this book. Slow moving and told in a complicated way. I couldn't keep track of characters. I gave up about 25% of the way in. Don't even care about hearing resolution.

Jun 22, 2019

Critical issues in this novel include the fact that the Center is the only place in the state of Mississippi to get a legal abortion, and laws require that abortion is a two-day process. The first day requires filling out multiple forms, proof that the woman is pregnant, above the legal age limit for the woman, and below the legal gestational age of her fetus. The day ends with an ultrasound. All efforts are, by law, made to talk the woman out of having the abortion, and the doctor is required to tell her things he knows aren't quite true about pregnancy and the procedure. On days abortions are done, protestors line the way to the clinic, taunting everyone who comes in, offering "blessing bags" through the chain link fence, including hand knit booties and baby caps, and flyers with more lies about what the procedure involves, and inflated numbers of people who would adopt babies. The characters are well rounded and seem real, and most are probably much like those who really do show up at such clinics. Not all are there for abortions, including Wren, 15, who wants birth control. Her father is the police hostage negotiator, which adds greatly to the tension. Her aunt Bex comes in with her when the nun who normally serves as an escort past the protestors doesn't arrive. Another is Olive, a middle aged lesbian who's come for years to see a particular nurse for her normal health care, now has metastatic cancer. Dr. Louie Ward, who's never married because of the danger he knows he faces because of his job, flies in the night before when it's his turn. Janine, calling herself Fiona, is a spy of a protest group, there to gather information that can be used to close down the Center. At first it confused me that the book is written backwards, though each chapter is clearly labeled with the time. By the end, it makes sense that she's written it that way.In the late morning, an angry gunman bursts into the clinic, and shoots his first victim soon after. The structure allows us to know her, and others who are shot, when if the book was written chronologically, we'd never know about them and their motivations. Picoult makes a real effort to be even handed, to make clear the gunman's reasons for being there. He's not bad, or a madman, and his reason makes some sense. We also see why the spy is there. But it's also clear which side Picoult is on. Her note at the end makes that clear as well, though it is "just the facts, ma'am.". It's an important book on an important, timely subject.

Jun 16, 2019

It was okay, but not great. I had to keep turning back to remember how the characters became pregnant and to keep them straight. The story bogged down in the middle making me want to skip to the ending. The backwards format was frustrating at times. I’m pro-life and gained insight to the plight of those facing unwanted pregnancies. The ending was disappointing compared to the big buildup. There were loose ends.

View All Comments


Add Age Suitability
Apr 21, 2020

diyqueen thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at SMPL

To Top