Title: Small Great Things
Author: Jodi Picoult
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Publish Date: October 2016
Ruth Jefferson is a labor and delivery nurse at a Connecticut hospital with more than twenty years’ experience. During her shift, Ruth begins a routine checkup on a newborn, only to be told a few minutes later that she’s been reassigned to another patient. The parents are white supremacists and don’t want Ruth, who is African American, to touch their child. The hospital complies with their request, but the next day, the baby goes into cardiac distress while Ruth is alone in the nursery. Does she obey orders or does she intervene?
Ruth hesitates before performing CPR and, as a result, is charged with a serious crime. Kennedy McQuarrie, a white public defender, takes her case but gives unexpected advice: Kennedy insists that mentioning race in the courtroom is not a winning strategy. Conflicted by Kennedy’s counsel, Ruth tries to keep life as normal as possible for her family—especially her teenage son—as the case becomes a media sensation. As the trial moves forward, Ruth and Kennedy must gain each other’s trust, and come to see that what they’ve been taught their whole lives about others—and themselves—might be wrong.
With incredible empathy, intelligence, and candor, Jodi Picoult tackles race, privilege, prejudice, justice, and compassion—and doesn’t offer easy answers. Small Great Things is a remarkable achievement from a writer at the top of her game.
This was my first time reading work from Jodi Picoult. When I received the book, I thought it was one of the longest Chick-Lit I have ever seen. After reading it, I understand the reasons. It did not feel long at all; it was a page turner. It is also not meaningless and/or mindless like most of the other Chick-Lit books.
I love Picoult’s writing style, and the book was well written. It showed that she certainly did her research. The story was told in three different perspectives: Ruth, Kennedy and Turk. Even though she tried to show different perspective, I felt that this book was only targeting female Caucasians.
Racism is a big part of this book. I felt like some of the situations are exaggerated. It would also be I live in Atlanta, 50% white, 40% black, and 10% others, where the demography is a little skewed. Thus, experiences might be different. One last thing, this book is very black and white.
4.5 out of 5 stars
Received a free Advance Reader’s Copy from LibraryThing in exchange for an honest review.