A Spark of Light by Jodi Picoult

As someone who has been a fan of Jodi Picoult and her books for years I was super excited for this one to come out, even more so when I read what it was about and the book did not disappoint. Though I do have to say straight away: if you do not like reading about sensitive topics like abortion or shootings, this book is not for you. They are both main discussion points and are not just there as a quick setting device and thrown aside never to be spoken of again.

Touching on a tough topic Picoult manages to do it without taking a side or making you feel like you need to think one way to identify with it. She even backs it up by explaining the research that went into writing this book.

The premise: a man comes into a women’s health clinic and starts shooting before he takes hostages. His reasons are unknown but everyone else has a reason for being in the clinic and the way their stories are told really makes you think.

One of the things that I found I really enjoyed about this book is that it was told backwards in time. Rather than being told reasons and waiting to see the outcome, we saw what happened and then going back an hour at a time were given all the answers and made to feel for these characters even more.

This book is told in third person but tells the perspective of everyone there and manages to get into their heads in a format that Picoult has mastered with this book. As much as I wanted to know more about what happened after I found that I didn’t care anymore, I was more interested in finding out why the shooting happened in the first place.

Another clear topic in “A Spark of Light” was that of the law and how it can determine what women do and how sometimes they will go to extreme lengths as shown with a side character and her story from the outside. Louie was also a very interesting character to read as a doctor who does perform abortions and is also a very religious man. The way he was written and his beliefs made him the most enjoyable character in the novel.

Reviewed by Jordanna, QBD Knox City

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