Report on The Page Turners Meeting - Meeting, Thursday, 6 June 2019
- Led by Ellen Schofield
A Spark of Light by Jodi Picoult
When Michael Rosen was asked what he thought the point of books was, he started his reply
with this response:
With literature, human beings have invented a way of enabling us to try out and weigh up the
possibilities of action and thought. It attaches ideas and feelings to beings we recognise and
care about. When we find we care, we usually spend some time speculating about the whys and
wherefores, the rights and wrongs, the truths and untruths of the thought and action.
This book certainly made our group speculate! We talked about the polarising issue of abortion
but also spent much time discussing the cultural differences between the United States and the
rest of the world. Our wide-ranging discussions were stimulated as the author explores all sides
of the abortion debate with mixed results. Picoult has never shied away from controversial
topics in her fiction, from school shootings to the Holocaust to gay rights to racism. Her
backwards timeline of the events in this piece has the effect of peeling away layers that reveal
the characters and their motivations but was felt to be a little clumsy and awkward by some of
our group. However, we recognised that Picoult’s extensive research into this sensitive subject
shines through as she tries to give voice to the different sides of the argument.
Our scores reflect our range of opinion with an average award of 6/10.
- Report by Lynne Morrisoe