Jodi Picoult has written two young adult novels with her daughter, Samantha Van Leer. They are: Between the Lines and Off The Page. Between the Lines has been produced as a musical.
As of October 2019, a new limited series is in the works at Sony Pictures Television based on “A Spark of Light”. It will star Joey King.
1. The story is narrated from the points of view of 10 different characters. Why do you think the author chose to include so many different perspectives? Was there a voice that you connected to most strongly? Did you have difficulty connecting with any characters?
2. Regardless of their feelings on the issue of abortion, many characters are preoccupied with being a good parent. Why do you think it means to be a good parent?
3. Initially, Joy and Janine seem to stand on opposite sides of the pro-life/pro-choice debate. By the end, do you think they have found common ground? Do you understand where each one is coming from? Is it possible to form a connection with someone with opposing viewpoints and still maintain a commitment to one’s own beliefs?
4. At one point, Rachel, the employee who escaped from the Center, accuses Allen and his fellow protestors of being responsible for the hostage crisis situation: “If people like you didn’t spout the bullshit you do, people like him wouldn’t exist.” Is this a fair accusation? Is there a point at which one does not have the right to voice one’s beliefs? If so, where should that line be drawn?
5. Did your feelings about the issue of abortion evolve during the reading of this novel, and, if so, how?
6. By the end of the book, we discover that these characters’ lives are interwoven in more ways than one and that each individual has a deeper story than we expected. Were you surprised by any of the interconnections? Which twist struck you the most strongly?
7. Did anything about Jodi’s research surprise you? What did you learn?
8. Did Jodi’s Author Note change your reading experience at all?
9. A SPARK OF LIGHT is different than the traditional novel structure. How did you feel about the events of the story unfolding backwards? Did this structure affect your reading experience?