Book Title: Small Great Things
Author: Jodi Picoult
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Publication Date: November 22nd 2016
Genre(s): Literary Fiction
Format Received: ARC (eBook)
Goodreads: 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.
My Review: Stunning, sad and a heavy life lesson for all. I am blown away. I have completely and utterly had my mind blown by a story that has gripped me so tightly I never thought it would let me go. This has been one heck of a powerful read. I have been moved like never before by this book and on plenty of occasions have been close to tears … Small Great Things is a phenomenon.
Jodi Picoult … you are brave and courageous for writing a novel on a subject which is such a taboo territory – racism. What this book says and does, and means is exactly what needs to be put out there in the world as a lesson for the human race to learn from … seriously learn from. It teaches us all to question situations, but not because we think that situation has occurred because of something that is either right or wrong … no, that is not what it does. Instead, it teaches us to consider the opinions of others because it’s those opinions that matter and that is what’s so great about this novel; written from three different perspectives – Ruth, Turk and Kennedy, the novel impressively makes us sit and take note of ‘those’ others around us.
Every time I picked Small Great Things up nothing else around me mattered; I was completely absorbed. Whatever was going on around me was forgotten; I was lost in the novel. There were sections of the novel that gripped me however the ‘entire novel’ engulfed me. So much happens and so much is revealed throughout that by reading just the first couple of chapters, you’ll find it is not enough to prepare you at any level for what happens in the middle or the end. This novel is one heck of a journey. I can sit and admit that the novel made me angry at times, but I see this as a good thing because by making me feel angry, it means Jodi Picoult’s believable characterisation affected me.
Small Great Things is phenomenally impressive, and with great attention to detail, as a reader I felt every single word.
Thank you to Netgalley and Hodder & Stoughton for the chance to read an ARC.
About the Author: Jodi Picoult is the author of twenty-three novels, including the #1 New York Times bestsellers Leaving Time, The Storyteller, Lone Wolf, Between the Lines, Sing You Home, House Rules, Handle with Care, Change of Heart, Nineteen Minutes, and My Sister’s Keeper. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband and three children. For more information about Jodi Picoult, visit her website.