A Spark of Light: A Novel

Written by:
Jodi Picoult
Narrated by:
Bahni Turpin , Jodi Picoult

Unabridged Audiobook

Release Date
October 2018
13 hours 2 minutes
#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
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Kerry H.

I tried to make it through. Too slow. I was intrigued by the potential story but it just dragged on to slow.

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Kim B.

First and last Jodi Picoult book that I have read. Supposedly, this explored both sides of the abortion issue “evenly,” but that’s not true. I don’t mind when an explosive issue is explored with equal treatment, but the author makes broad assumptions, states “facts” that have no backing. For example, she claims as a fact that a 15 week fetus cannot feel pain and yet the medical associations recommend that a fetus be given anesthesia before an abortion. The new research reveals that fetus of 18 weeks feels pain and that it may be possible that they feel pain even earlier and yet that isn’t mentioned. She claims most pro-life advocates are white men. She ignores the large contingency of highly educated women who are pro-life. I’m not even sure that if there had been more of a balance I would have enjoyed the book. The backwards timeline was gimmicky and frankly, the book was boring. I don’t think I’ll be reading anymore of her books.

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Polly G.

I have read many and loved every Jodi Picoult book until this one. Not only is it choppily written from multiple perspectives, it’s so clearly pro-choice, it bordered on offensive. I couldn’t wait for it to end, except then there was the epilogue. Ugh!

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I give up! I can’t make it through this book. I quit! So slow, so confusing, the book summary was the best part of the book!

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Chantel C.

My all time least favorite book by this author. I actually hated it! So slow with multiple stories going on and none had an ending. You are just left wondering what happened. I thought I missed a few chapters or something. Terrible!

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Lisa W.

I am a Picoult fan but this was not my favorite. I found it hard to follow as it is ‘backwards.’ It starts at the end and then goes back in time for each character. It has some great twists and it kept my attention. Just a little complicated.

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Amanda S.

I love Jodi Picoult and have ready so many of her books. Books that I would rate in my top 10. This book, however, I was unable to get into. I found myself growing bored while listening and not able to get into. I tried getting back into several times, unfortunately it was too slow, hard to follow that a little over half way through I gave up on.

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I did not like this book at all. There isn’t one character that I came to love. The plot was slow. I think the author is amazing and have read and listened to other books of hers, but I did not like this one. I suffered through it, but I never looked forward to listening to it as I have with the other 40 books I have purchased.

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Claudia B.

Thanks Jodi Picoult for giving humanity back to women who get abortions. I loved the way the book intersected with complex issues of family, privilege, gun debate. Very brave, uniquely written book that explores all the "players" in the abortion fight. I love hearing de-politicized, authentic stories about abortion and its complexity. Picoult does it. Its important for anyone unfamiliar with these issues to read- also for those on the other side of abortion rights.

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Jacklyn V.

Difficult to follow the story line with all the flashbacks! Much recherch went in to this plublishment . What was not covered is the Basic Nature of womanhood is the Fact that Women are the Proctecters ,Nurishers, and Guiders of “Life “ She has the “choice “ as to When and with Whom she puts herself in the position of the possibility of producing a New Life ! Once a Pregnant she is a Mother & has the responsibility to Nurishers that Life !! Lack of Responibility is the cause of so many of this worlds Dellemas & Violence!!

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Cynthia L.

Very disappointing from her. So boring I barely made it through till the end.

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Ida S.

I recently had surgery on my left eye and was forbidden to focus my eyes on anything for 10 days to promote the best healing. I am naturally an active person and found this difficult. I did ,however, take the opportunity to listen to a book on tape and Picoult's timely topic of women's rights, abortion and the politics of abortion was an excellent topic to give me endless hours of listening and contemplating a worthy topic of interest. I never listen to books as I am not a good auditory learner preferring to see and feel the words of books. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised at how true the experience of listening to the book was for me in this instance. I loved the reading and the emphasis of the story teller and did not feel that I missed the experience of seeing the words on the page.

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Nancy A.

Es muy redundante, la historia es buena y entretenida, lo escuche completo para saber el final pero puedes escuchar la primera hora y la ultima y no te perdiste nada

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Sally M.

If you don’t want to read an entire novel about the abortion issue, skip this Piccoult. It is All. About. Abortion.

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Nancy K.

This book certainly is certainly timely! It is thought provoking, well written and fairly portrays both sides of this issue. It is well worth reading. Picoult is great at choosing controversial or difficult issues, and facing them square on. She’s done it again!

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Terri D.

This was a very stimulating novel that conjured up a lot of different feelings about a very touchy topic. Bless her heart for being able to present this topic with true facts and situations...with normal heartbreaking emotions that I would think people would truly feel. The narrator did an awesome job of telling the story with her emotions being raw in all the appropriate places. I recommend this book to Jodi Picoult fans for sure...another great read.

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