A Spark of Light takes on the abortion issue, and she is obviously attempting to humanize both sides of one of the most emotional topics that face us today. A women’s health center is attacked by a gunman, George, who opens fire and takes everyone inside hostage. We soon learn why George has taken this unthinkable step, and while we don’t agree with him, we do sympathize with his misguided emotions. He is a father who will do anything for his daughter.
Hugh McElroy, a police hostage negotiator, is a father too, and his daughter, Wren, is one of the hostages, along with the doctor, a nurse, a young woman who aborted her child and a pro-life protester disguised as a patient. The story counts backwards through the hours of the encounter, and it is told through the viewpoint of everyone involved. As we get to know the characters and their motivations, we realize that everyone seems to be doing what he/she believes is necessary.
I enjoyed the book, even though I found it a bit confusing to follow at times. Although Picoult does an admirable job juggling the many characters and the odd timeline, there were times I had to jump back and get my bearings before continuing. She does try to give light to both sides of the issue, but I think I picked up which way she leans.
If you are a Jodi Picoult fan, this is one for your library, and if you have never read any of her books, I urge you to find a nice chair and a box of tissues and get started.
Publisher - Ballantine Books
Date of Publication - October 2, 2018