An initiative of the American Library Association

Book Club Choices: A Spark of Light by Jodi Picoult

By Erin Christmas

Jodi Picoult does it again! In A Spark of Light, her latest novel, Picoult forces audiences to consider all aspects of a controversial topic. This time it is abortion, and the unlikely meeting of an array of diverse characters at a woman’s clinic, The Center, during a hostage crisis.

The book begins at 5p.m. at The Center where Wren McElroy, daughter of a police hostage negotiator, has been trapped inside for multiple hours with a doctor, nurses and other patients, while her father continues to try to convince the gunman to release those he is holding captive.

The multiple first person narratives are told in reverse chronological order so though the reader knows how the story will end for each character, it is not clear from the start how or why they each get there.

A Spark of Light leaves a lasting impression on the reader. As time goes in reverse to reveal each character’s reason for being at The Center, the reader’s preconceived notions about abortion are shattered. This well researched and highly engaging book is ideal for book clubs and anyone interested in the multitude of issues that affect abortion rights today. Fans of Picoult’s Nineteen Minutes and My Sister’s Keeper will love A Spark of Light.

A Spark of Light by Jodi Picoult, Ballantine Books, 2018.

Click to Read an Excerpt.

Click for a Discussion Guide.

Click to Read the Booklist Starred Review.


Erin Christmas is an avid reader, librarian, and lover of a good contemporary fiction romance. She currently works as the assistant library director for the Riverside (Calif.) Public Library. Prior to Riverside Public Library she worked for the Santa Clarita Public Library and San Bernardino County Library System. Erin is passionate about readers’ advisory and loves to match readers with books and books with readers.


Sign up to receive Book Club Central reviews, author interviews, and SJP Picks.


Sign up to receive Book Club Central reviews, author interviews, and SJP Picks.