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A Spark of Light: A Novel
By: Jodi Picoult
List Price: $28.99
Your Price: $18.89
(as of: 01/20/19)
Manufacturer: Ballantine Books
ISBN: 0345544986
Publication Date: 2018-10-02
Release Date 2018-10-02
Availability: Usually ships in 24 hours

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Product Description:

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The author of Small Great Things returns with a powerful and provocative new novel about ordinary lives that intersect during a heart-stopping crisis.

“Picoult at her fearless best . . . Timely, balanced and certain to inspire debate.”—The Washington Post

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.

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.

One of the most fearless writers of our time, Jodi Picoult 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.

Praise for A Spark of Light

“This is Jodi Picoult at her best: tackling an emotional hot-button issue and putting a human face on it.”People
“Told backward and hour by hour, Jodi Picoult’s compelling narrative deftly explores controversial social issues.”Us Weekly

Amazon.com Review:

An Amazon Best Book of October 2018: Jodi Picoult again tackles a controversial topic with remarkable dexterity in her latest novel, A Spark of Light. Working backwards in time from a shooting in an abortion clinic, Picoult uses multiple narratives to peel back the layers of events, circumstances, and emotions that led up to the tragic incident that kicked off the book. Both sides of the abortion debate are represented and perspectives shift — in both directions—once abortion is no longer a theoretical question. There are tough moments in the book; the characters face heartbreaking choices, self-doubt, and fear, but Picoult treats her subject and story with great care and respect. A Spark of Light is incredibly timely. Picoult’s latest is a thought provoking read that will inspire conversation and appeal to both the author’s existing fans and newcomers to her work. —Seira Wilson, Amazon Book Review

Hugh McElroy, a hostage negotiator in Jackson, MS is raising his teenage daughter, Wren alone. She is uncomfortable talking to her father about sex so she asks her Aunt Bex, with whom she's close, to take her to the Center to get birth control. Not that she's having relations yet, she wants to be prepared if she chooses to go "all the way."

Wren insists Bex keep this is a secret, knowing her dad would go ballistic and lecture her. Needless to say, Wren and Bex arrive at the facility which is known for performing abortions. Protestors try to stop them, but they are ignored.

A madman unexpectedly decides this is his day to take vengeance on the clinic and brandishes his gun killing the owner and wounding others. After Bex is shot, not fatally, Olive, an older patient grabs Wren to escape to a supply closet.

Their luck is short lived as this man—George Goddard, with a score to settle—has an employee search the building for other occupants, thus, Olive and Wren are dragged into the waiting room with the others.

Hugh is on the scene to negotiate with George, not revealing to his colleagues that his sister and daughter are hostages. Wren texts him until her cell dies, but she believes her dad will rescue them.

The controversial topic of abortion is given profound insight with different characters offering their perspective. A Spark of Light commences with the conclusion of the crime relating to the day's beginning. This unusual concept of writing the novel backward in time allows the reader to attain a riveting, in-depth look into the characters' feelings, beliefs, and actions.

By: Nancy Lepri, ReaderToReader.com

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