A Spark of Light: Jodi Picoult

Rating: 4 / 5

Jodi Picoult’s A Spark of Light is the highly affecting and timely story of a shooting at an abortion clinic and how each person impacted found themselves there, on that fateful day.

Thank you, Random House, for the free book!

Each person who found themselves at the Center on the day of the shooting has a unique story. From Wren – a high schooler hoping to be prescribed birth control – to the abortion doctor – a man who just wants to provide women with the best care possible, each unlucky soul is now stuck; locked inside the Center with a man with a gun. Told in a reverse timeline, readers will learn why each person was at the Center that day and how – thanks to hatred, lack of understanding, and radicalism – their lives came to be in danger.

Content Warning

Please take caution while reading A Spark of Light if any of the following topics may trigger you:

  • Violence
  • Death / dying
  • Pregnancy
  • Abortion
  • Blood

My Thoughts

Jodi Picoult has yet to fail me; her books are filled to the brim with amazing character development, thorough research, and a knack for tackling the most sensitive of topics with grace and care. A Spark of Light is surely no different; it dives into the controversial nature of abortion in a way that is refreshing, comprehensive, factual, and tender. I actually learned so much about abortion and abortion clinics, which is just one of the many perks of reading this book.

Picoult writes this story in a reverse timeline – she starts the story at 5 pm, after the shooting has taken place and while the victims are still in the clinic. You immediately learn the status of each character, but – of course – there is still much to learn about them.

As we travel back through the day with each previous hour, the point of view rotates between each person involved in the shooting – including the shooter. I absolutely love this about Picoult’s writing – she fully embodies each character, gives them a detailed and meaningful back story, and uses this to deepen our understanding of the complicated nature of abortion.

I read this as part of my book club, and our discussion was lively, thoughtful, and could have gone on forever. This absolutely speaks to the complexity and thoughtfulness of the book, and I can’t recommend it enough. Jodi Picoult is a gem – if you want to read another book by her, I highly recommend Small Great Things, too.


Thank you so much for taking the time to read my thoughts on A Spark of Light. I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments or at my Instagram, @bookmarkedbya!

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