Book Review The Small Great Things
Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult was my book club’s choice last month. We had a brilliant meeting discussing the book and I truly felt we could have talked for hours about this book.
About the Author
Jodi Picoult is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of twenty-five novels, including Small Great Things, Leaving Time, The Storyteller, and My Sister’s Keeper.
You can find her website here.
The Synopsis of the Book
Ruth Jefferson is a labor and delivery nurse at a Connecticut hospital with more than twenty years of 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 her 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 what they’ve taught their whole lives about others – and themselves might be wrong.
First of all, I would like to commend the author on writing about a subject that many in this country believe is no longer an issue and that this country is beyond racism and white supremacy. How wrong they are. Jodi Picoult takes us out of the bubble that most of us tend to live in and opens our eyes.
This is a powerful, raw and disturbing story that will stay with you for a long time. We all agreed that reading about Turk, the white supremacists and his beliefs were jaw-dropping and horrifying. None of us could comprehend the hatred he felt to people of color and what is even more horrifying is that these groups still exist today. But we had to take a step back and discuss his terrible childhood and upbringing. He was raised to hate, it was in his blood and it was the only way he knew how to live. We are not making excuses for his beliefs just examing the facts and how beliefs are carried down generation after generation and we saw a lot of it in this book.
We all loved Ruth, the victim of racism whose life was turned upside down simply because of the color of her skin. She’s a brilliant mother, a smart woman, a widow and was doing a fine job raising her son, who was an honor roll student.
We felt only compassion for Ruth who lived in fear every day, by the way, she was treated, spoken to and stared at because she was black, but to her this was the norm. She was a successful Nurse who studied at Yale, she lived in a good neighborhood and had a well-mannered smart son but no one paid attention to that, they only saw what was on the outside – the color of her skin.
After reading this book I’m sure many will question their own beliefs. I know I did. It will open your eyes and make you realize that we as a human race, not just a country have a long way to go before we can say that we treat everyone as equal. In our perfect world, we might but the rest of the world needs to get on board.
In conclusion, a riveting book that was hard to put down and a rude awakening to the world we live in.
Our Overall Rating
COVER DESIGN – 5 STARS – An eye-catching cover. Simple and easy to read.
CHARACTERIZATION – 5 STARS – Brilliant character development. We felt we knew them well.
STORY & PLOT 4 STARS – Some members found some of the facts unbelievable and felt it was rushed toward the end.
OVERALL RATING – 4 STARS – We enjoyed this book immensely and highly recommend it.
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