Due for release on October 2, 2018, Jodi Picoult’s latest novel, A Spark of Light, is going to be another one to talk about! Examining abortion from eight, if I’m counting right, points of view, Picoult takes on another difficult topic. It’s evident that the book was deeply researched. It will certainly strike cords and be a top book club pick.
Picoult mimics the style used in her latest superstar novel, Small Great Things, and gets inside the heads of the characters in conflict, exposing all the opposing viewpoints, and showing that the abortion issue (perhaps no issue, really) is clear cut and without great nuance. Life experiences, upbringing, culture in your home town/state, faith, courses of study, and on and on and on — every bit of what makes each of us who we are, all influence how we feel and what we believe.
While reading, I marked quite a few lines and passages that rang out to me: for the beauty of the language, the image it invoked, the shock or wonder of the content. I always love analyzing the title of a book and the ‘spark of light’ is referenced a couple of times. One way it seems to support abortion, the other way it seems to argue against it. Clever and beautiful in a book that aims to make readers open their eyes to different views.
It’s a huge compliment that reading this book taught me things and pushed me to look at angles I hadn’t before considered. I wish that experience for everyone who reads it. While agreement is never likely, discussion and open-mindedness is the first step toward compassion and civility on both sides of this conversation.
Jodi Picoult is the best-selling author of 24 novels. Her 25th, A Spark of Light, will be published in October 2018.