Picoult takes on the abortion debate in timely new novel
Fiction: A Spark of Light, Jodi Picoult, Hodder & Stoughton, hardback, 368 pages, €20.39
October 28 2018
The timing of Jodi Picoult's latest novel couldn't be more apt. A Spark of Light chronicles a deadly shooting and hostage-taking in a women's health clinic at a point when, in America, Roe v Wade is at risk of being overturned as the Supreme Court moves decidedly to the right, following the controversial confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh, and in Ireland, a historic referendum prompted heated debates over abortion and the eventual vote to repeal the eighth amendment.
Picoult describes her work as "ethical or moral fiction", tackling contentious issues including rape, school shootings, religious identity, euthanasia and white supremacists. As well as the abortion debate, A Spark of Light explores post-traumatic stress disorder in veterans, racism and gun control ("the waiting period to get an abortion was longer than the waiting period to get a gun", she observes pointedly).