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A Spark of Light

Narrated by: Bahni Turpin
Length: 12 hrs and 57 mins
4 out of 5 stars (282 ratings)

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Summary

The masterful new novel from the number one best-selling author of Small Great Things.

The Center for women's reproductive health offers a last chance at hope - but nobody ends up there by choice.

Its very existence is controversial, and to the demonstrators who barricade the building every day, the service it offers is no different from legalised murder.

Now life and death decisions are being made horrifyingly real: a lone protester with a gun has taken the staff, patients and visitors hostage.

Starting at the tensest moment in the negotiations for their release, A Spark of Light unravels backwards, revealing hour by urgent hour what brought each of these people - the gunman, the negotiator, the doctors, nurses and women who have come to them for treatment - to this point.

And certainties unwind as truths and secrets are peeled away, revealing the complexity of balancing the right to life with the right to choose. 

©2018 Jodi Picoult (P)2018 Hodder & Stoughton Limited

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Started good but lost its way

The swearing throughout was so unnecessary. I gave up half way through as the story line became so far fetched.

6 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Disappointing

I didn’t like the subject matter and felt I was being preached to on abortion issues. Didn’t like all the details included about how abortions take place. I also disliked the style of constantly jumping around timelines. Not up to her usual standard and I would not recommend it to anyone

3 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Audio production could be better

As this story is told in differing perspectives I feel that more attention could have been paid to ensuring that it was clear when the perspectives changed. I felt that the narration seemed to rush from one paragraph to the next and, combined with often-repeated descriptions of other characters, I found it quite hard to track who’s perspective was being followed.

I am no veteran of Jodi Picoult’s writing, but have read a couple of other books by the author and I have to admit I enjoyed this one the least so far.

I felt that the backwards timeline of the book added very little to the story, and ultimately felt like an unnecessary gimmick.

The subject matter was interesting, and I was impressed by Picoult’s ability to sympathetically write from extremely different perspectives on the abortion debate in the USA.

5 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Gripping and thought provoking

The subject matter of this book is a complex issue but the story is gripping, the characters intriguing and the format of the story unusual. Much of the book was enjoyable, the other parts thought provoking. It was well researched, well written and excellently narrated.

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Not her best

I really wasn't a fan of this one.

The narration didn't help at all, and in fact just made the story even more confusing - in a novel where the story is told backwards, you *need* chapter announcements and pauses.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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repetitive

the story just kept repeating itself... I expected more from a Picoult book. Not worth the listen - far too long and boring story.

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  • TW
  • 03-11-19

Not one for audiobook

Very confusing overall. It jumps around in time and character too much for an audiobook

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    5 out of 5 stars

Great story about an important issue

Picoult strikes again, writing an enthralling, engaging story that covers the many facets of an important issue. Brilliant book. highly recommended.

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A touching story on a sensitive subject.

Excellent storyline and narrated very well. confusing in places when moving from character to character and time periods. I personally would have enjoyed it more if I had read it rather than listen to it in small parts at a time.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Good topical story but frustrating.

I wanted to know about the individuals caught up in this tragedy but too much of end revealed and then going back hour by hour spoiled it for me. I'm going to read the book again from final chapter and then come back to epilogue. With the current proposed change to abortion law in US well worth a read. so having read chapters in reverse and finish with epilogue, I cou lot follow sequentially and realised how much I had missed and this is great book.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Alison Cope
  • 26-12-19

Should be 7 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I have enjoyed a number of Jodi Picoult’s books, but none as much as this one. It handles a difficult issue with balance and sensitivity to both sides of the argument. It has helped me to see the other point of view from a clearer perspective.
Thank you, Jodi.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Mervyn
  • 20-07-19

Do not judge actions of others. 7

Not a comfortable way to read of events. No person has the right to judge another's actions. We are not creators. We are not meant to make judgments.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Judith Wilson
  • 01-05-19

Another Jodi masterpiece

Another great read (or listen) from Jodi with her usual wonderful ability to illustrate multiple perspectives on a moral issue.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • A
  • 21-03-19

My least favorite book by this author.

Not at all because of the content or my opinion on abortion but I was not drawn into the story or characters at all. I found it segmented and it was difficult to follow characters

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • V Nerd - Reviews by Audio Killed the Bookmark
  • 27-01-19

4 Hard Hitting Stars

⭐⭐⭐⭐ Hard Hitting Stars

#TriggerWarnings - Abortion / Racism / Rape


The story starts out at 5pm at a Clinic in Jackson Mississippi, a gunman has opened fire inside the Abortion Clinic locally known as “The Center” the story then takes us backwards to the start of the day, and we find out why the characters are there.

Hugh McElroy is a hostage negotiator, at 5pm he gets called to the scene and immediately gets all of the details he can, and starts to communicate with the gunman, at the same time his phone starts to vibrate, when he looks at the text he has just received, he is horrified to find out that his daughter Wren and his sister Bex are inside the clinic!

The Center is somewhere women can go to get Contraception, Gynaecological examinations, General Women’s Health check-ups, and Abortions.

There are always Anti-Abortion protesters outside of The Center, trying to grab the women before they make it into the front door, they are handing out “gift bags” and trying to guilt them into changing their minds.

The Gunman is called George, and he is angry because he has found out that his daughter had an abortion at this clinic recently, not only does he shoot the doctor that performs the abortions, he shoots others as well, and Hugh’s daughter Wren might be one of them!

Tangled in this story is another, this story is about Beth, she took the difficult decision to terminate her own pregnancy, and now because of the Mississippi Abortion Law, she is facing murder charges, and could go to prison for 20 years if she is found guilty.

This story doesn’t try and sway you either way in your beliefs, and it doesn’t feel preachy at all, but I do like the way that Picoult tries to make you see both sides of the Pro-Life / Pro-Choice argument.

Regardless of your beliefs I think this is a great book to have for a Book club and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

🎧🎧 – Narrated by the amazing Bahni Turpin.

This was my main reason for picking up this book, she could literally narrate a recipe for a fruit cake and I would be there One Clicking like a lunatic! The woman can do no wrong in my eyes and makes any book into a fantastic read.

This is certainly one to pop into your basket.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Jacqui
  • 30-12-18

Not as good as others

The moral dilemma was a good and topical one but I hated the way it started at the end and worked it's way backwards. Whilst this was an interesting literary technique I'd advise against doing it again!