A Spark of Light (B&N Exclusive Edition)

A Spark of Light (B&N Exclusive Edition)

by Jodi Picoult

Hardcover(B&N Exclusive Edition)

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781984800671
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 10/02/2018
Edition description: B&N Exclusive Edition
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 288
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

Jodi Picoult is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of twenty-three novels, including Small Great Things, Leaving Time, The Storyteller, Lone Wolf, Sing You Home, House Rules, Handle with Care, Change of Heart, Nineteen Minutes, and My Sister’s Keeper. She is also the author, with daughter Samantha van Leer, of two young adult novels, Between the Lines and Off the Page. Picoult lives in New Hampshire.


Hanover, New Hampshire

Date of Birth:

May 19, 1966

Place of Birth:

Nesconset, Long Island, NY


A.B. in Creative Writing, Princeton University; M.A. in Education, Harvard University

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A Spark of Light (B&N Exclusive Edition) 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 85 reviews.
Anonymous 7 months ago
Thin plot. Not a book to entertain, just advance agenda. Disappointing.
Anonymous 4 months ago
Very compelling read no matter which side of the issue you stand.
Anonymous 7 months ago
I've read every one of Jodi Picoult's books and this is her most disappointing. The reverse timeline and embedded storylines were really difficult to follow and the end was very predictable. Definitely not the book to start with if you've never read her work. I will never give up reading her books, I'm just disappointed I have to wait so long for another good one.
Anonymous 7 months ago
I have read all of Picoult’s books. This felt rushed and poorly planned. The best thing about her previous writings is that you couldn’t tell which side she was on. With this, there is an obvious agenda. Incredibly disappointed in my favorite author.
Anonymous 7 months ago
Anonymous 9 months ago
Riveting and timely!
cloggiedownunder 9 months ago
A Spark of Light is the twenty-third novel by popular American author, Jodi Picoult. In Jackson, Mississippi, a women’s clinic that provides, amongst other services, abortions is targeted daily by pro-life campaigners. They harass the staff and the clients as they enter and leave. But today is different: a gunman has entered the building and begun shooting. Trained police hostage negotiator, Detective Lieutenant Hugh McElroy is soon on the scene to talk to the gunman, but within minutes learns that his daughter, Wren and his sister, Bex are inside the clinic along with other innocent hostages. As he tries to reason with the shooter, those inside struggle to help the injured without further enraging their captor. The day’s events, as they unfold over ten hours, are told in reverse, with an epilogue resolving the dramatic end of the first chapter. As the story follows the path that directs each character to their destiny at the Clinic, their thoughts and dialogue give the reader a deep appreciation of their nature, their challenges, their passions. The shooter’s motivation and the series of events that leads up to his shocking actions illustrates how easily misunderstanding, desperation, a deficit of compassion and happenstance together can end in tragedy. Picoult never hesitates to tackle controversial topics, nor does she in this latest work. The main issue is, of course, abortion, but many other related topics feature: the legal obstacles, the reason doctors and nurses work in these clinics, the for and against arguments, the situations where abortion seems appropriate, the fallacies that are spouted by pro-lifers, inequity between laws that protect the foetus and those protecting the mother, the legal inconsistencies between states, the import of illegal abortion drugs from China, and even the semantics surrounding the issue. While many will feel that her treatment of the topic is balanced, Picoult’s latest novel is bound to polarise readers. The depth of her research is apparent and she backs it up with an extensive bibliography. In the Author’s Note, Picoult gives a succinct quote regards pro-lifer activities from a woman who has had an abortion: “I don’t need people shaming me because of a choice that already hurt my heart to have to make.” Picoult gives the reader yet another informative, insightful and thought-provoking read. This unbiased review is from an uncorrected proof copy provided by Allen & Unwin.
Anonymous 9 days ago
The last two books from Jodi Piccoult haven't been good and i won't be reading any more. Too bad because I read all the others. What has happened to her as a good author? There are too many other good authors out there.
Anonymous 26 days ago
NO SPOILERS Very thought-provoking and realistic. Highly recommend. I wanted to address some of the other reviews though... The "backwards" timeline: I liked this approach, really makes the reader pay attention to the storyline. The "agenda": I feel like both sides of the issue were fairly represented. I am as right-leaning as you can get without being a true "conservative", but I am also very far from liberal and I feel like Picoult accurately portrayed the fundamentals of both sides of this issue. The "twists": I saw both major "twists" coming from pretty early in the book, but that didn't make reading this any less enjoyable. The ending: Many reviewers complained about an abrupt ending. If you pay attention throughout the story, you have a pretty good idea about what the characters are going to do next, if not what exactly is in store for the Center itself. Bottom line, no matter which side of the fence your opinions lie (especially if you are somewhat ON the fence) this is an interesting story that weaves together many individual stories.
Anonymous 4 months ago
I've read every one of this author's books and there was a time when I labeled her a favorite. That has changed with some of her more recent novels, and this last one is definitely my least favorite, due to both the writing style and the politically charged agenda. I started to skim through the pages more and more as the book progressed, because it began to irritate me more and more. Too much jumping back and forth and too little substance. I'm sorry I spent the money on this unsatisfying read.
julie-51 4 months ago
I feel like I just walked in to the middle of a movie. I'm a huge fan but this one I could not get in to.
Anonymous 6 months ago
A thought provoking book as most of Jodi Pacoult books are.
Anonymous 6 months ago
Not one of her best books. Abrupt ending. Thin storyline. Very disappointed.
Anonymous 7 months ago
Abrupt ending... Really needed more closure! So unsatisfying.
Anonymous 7 months ago
Written gracefully & medically accurate, this is a book about so much more than abortion. It's worth it to read the thoughts written at the end of the book, as they offer statistics, facts, first-hand knowledge, and viable ideas for both pro-choicers AND for pro-lifers.
Anonymous 9 months ago
I have read most of Jodi Picolt books because she is one of my favorite authors. This one really made me think.
bookaholique 9 months ago
Here is what I like about Jodi Picoult's writing. She takes a topic - in this case abortion - and then creates a story with characters that represent all sides of the debate on that topic. I frequently end her novels with at least a better understanding of opinions that differ from mine. She writes with intelligence and compassion. I actually ended up liking all the characters in this story - even the "bad guy". This has happened to me before with her writing. The people in this book all have legitimate points of view. There is a saying that came to mind when I read this story - just because I don't agree, that doesn't make me right. A thought provoking page turner. I received this book from Random House - Ballantine via Netgally. My thanks to both.
Anonymous 3 days ago
Excellent book!
Take_Me_AwayPH 13 days ago
When I first heard about this, I can't lie, the only thing that made me want to read it was the controversy I KNEW it would spark. (No pun intended) But for this to be my first Picoult book, I'm not at all disappointed. Of course there were some things that I would change, but for the most part, I really liked this one. The Center is considered a safe space for women in Mississippi. On this particular morning everything begins the same, but as time goes on, things change very quickly. A shooter comes into the building without warning and keeps everyone hostage. I think the main thing I liked about this was the many different sides that Picoult showed in the book. It was obvious that Picoult did her research on all the different sides of abortion because she depicted each side and in ways that I never would have thought about. It was really interesting to see how every character had a different way of looking at the situation. Whether good or bad, the characters took each obstacle in stride. However, the biggest issue I had was the way the story was told. I did not care for it being told backwards. It starts with the shooter already in the building so the reader is already thrown into the drama. But the bad thing about this, is the story goes on and nothing else really happens. At the end there are a few loose ends that tie up that will make you say "OMG," but still, it wasn't enough for me to fall completely for it. Especially since it's also told from all the different POV's of the shooter and everyone that was there. Some of those stories overlap and it's literally the same thing over and over. I could have done without that. I'm very interested in the conversations that will come from people reading this book. I'm interested in finding out which characters people will side with and which part they didn't agree with. This story wasn't perfect, but I'm definitely glad I gave this book that's out of my comfort zone a shot.
Anonymous 14 days ago
I'd give every other book 5 Picoult wrote 5 stars, but not this one. The subject matter was great, as always. I love that she tackles tough, contemporary issues and makes me see life through a different lens. I just didn't like the reverse timeline aspect of this book. It just lost something doing it that way. I felt like there were gaping holes. But still a great read! Rock on, Jodi Picoult!
Anonymous 16 days ago
I’ve always loved Jodi Picoult, but shame on her. This is a completely one sided portrayal of the issue of abortion. I don’t even want to pass this book on to anyone because her depiction of pro-life people is completely stereotypical, slanted, and offensive. The goal of this book wasn’t to create dialogue and understanding between those who oppose this issue. I was really hoping for a true representation of the divide that exists in society, as opposed to suggesting that pro-choice people are rational and reasonable, whie pro-life people are hypocritical freaks. There were 2 pro life characters in the book. One had minimal character development, and the other was an activist who, when push came to shove, tried to save herself and leave the others to die, and also had an abortion of her own. Come ON Ms. Picoult!!! This book was absurd!!! When I read the part about the doctor removing the "products of conception" I almost threw the book in the trash. As it is, I don't know what to do with the book because it would be irresponsible to pass this one-sided-political-agenda written narrative to anyone else. I know Ms. Picoult certainly won't be affected by losing one reader, but I'll have to think long and hard before I purchase one of her books again.
Anonymous 3 months ago
JHSEsq 3 months ago
Throughout her career, but particularly in recent years, Jodi Picoult has proven herself a fearless author, willing to fictionalize any controversial topic. A Spark of Light may well be her most risky, ambitious, and successful endeavor to date because she at last tackles the issue of abortion. The setting is a women’s reproductive health services clinic where the staff offers services to anyone who comes through the door. In a story that could all too easily be ripped from any morning headline, it is a gunman who enters. He opens fire, immediately killing some and taking others hostage. Hugh McElroy is the police hostage negotiator who initiates communication with the gunman and soon discovers that Wren, his own fifteen-year-old daughter is inside the clinic, along with her aunt, Hugh's sister. Also inside with the gunman is a nurse who calms her own panic in order to save the life of a wounded woman; a doctor who work at the clinic because of his faith; a pro-life protester who entered disguised as a patient but may now be a victim of the rage she has experienced herself; and a young woman who is there to terminate her pregnancy. Picoult employs an unusual and highly effective technique to relate the day's events: They are set forth in reverse chronological order, hour by hour. Thus, the book opens at the point of the story's dramatic climax, and then the events that led up to that moment are revealed in reverse order. As Picoult traces the action back through the morning, showing how each individual came to be at the clinic, the characters' secrets and motivations are revealed. Heart-breaking, jaw-droppingly ironic details are explored that demonstrate how beliefs, assumptions, demands, fears, and, indeed, bravery converged to fatefully deliver each person to the clinic on that particular day. Employing her signature style, through the thoughts, beliefs, and actions of her characters, Picoult asks readers to ponder the most difficult questions. How should the rights of a pregnant woman to autonomy and privacy be balanced against the rights of her unborn child? Can laws imposing absolute boundaries ever be workable? How do one's past experiences and upbringing undergird and inform one's opinions on the subject? And given the wide range of beliefs, values, and experiences Americans hold, is there any possible way that, as a society, consensus can ever be achieved? A Spark of Light is a compelling, demanding, and thought-provoking story that provokes a deeply visceral reaction. The subject matter and story are timely, controversial, and provocative. In the hands of a less-skilled writer, the story could have become mired in preachy, judgmental rhetoric. But Picoult approaches the topic with sensitivity, and compassion and respect for all of her characters. Thus, she manages to tell the story in a balanced, understanding fashion. Picoult's extensive research on the topic is evident in the way she portrays the fragility of her characters and the monumental impact of beliefs and actions upon their own lives, as well as upon the lives of their loved ones. For fans of Picoult's work, as well as those who have never read her previous books, A Spark of Light is, along with Small Great Things, a book that simply must be read by anyone seeking to gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of the competing viewpoints on abortion, and why those on opposite sides of the issue must find a way to peacefully co-exist. Thanks to NetGalley for
Anonymous 5 months ago
This book was very hard to follow and had a terrible ending. If this was the first book I read by this author, I would never read another one.
Anonymous 6 months ago
Being a big fan of hers I was really excited when this book finally came out. Unfortunately my excitement was short lived. This was by far my least favorite book of hers. While the subject seemed right up her ally it just didn't grab me. It was confusing and predictable and didn't have the usual depth that I am used to. I didn't really connect with any of the characters and really just couldn't wait to finish it. Sorry Jodi, just not my favorite.