Book Review: Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult

 

 

 

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  • Hardcover: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books (October 11, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345544951
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345544957
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.3 x 9.5 inches

 

 

 

According to  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 RATING

 

 

Five golden stars isolated on white background

 

 

 

 

 

First I wanted to thank Jodi Picoult for taking the time to write such a tremendous book. Jodi, if I ever get the chance to meet you I’ll give you a double high five. This great book is no small thing!

 

 

 

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MY IMPRESSION

 

First it took me awhile to get use to the multiple point of views, but once that happened it became the strength of the story. I commend the author for taking head on things that most people try to avoid. Racism. Prejudice. Bias. I certainly try to avoid these topics like the plague instead of facing them.

Small Great Things employs a heavy theme throughout the book. Jodi makes no attempt to skate around the subjects at hand. Honestly, at first I thought it was a little bit over the top; but then I thought about the interaction between Kennedy McQuarrie and Ruth Jefferson. Kennedy a defense lawyer, did not think it was appropriate, necessary, or wise to bring race into the courtroom. Eventually she fully embraces the matter of race in her own life, both personally and professionally. This helped me to embrace the story more on a thematic level. It’ll never be easy to discuss matters of race, but I’m glad somebody did!

I will always reserve a place in my heart for the great story of Ruth, Kennedy, Edison and Turk Bauer. The embody the real life struggles, challenges, and transformation that we all need.

I greatly appreciate Jodi’s ability to capture the reality of each character and reveal them on the page. Weaving together so many elements is not easy for an author.

 

  • Kennedy McQuarrie– I enjoyed such a classy, witty, gritty, determined and compassionate lawyer. The kind of arc that she went through in the story was quite compelling.
  • Ruth Jefferson– Ruth was special. Such a hardworking individual in so many areas getting caught in the midst of an impossible dilemma. I could sense her pain, frustration and fears. Her transformation also is notable. Really when I consider Ruth, I have to consider Kennedy because they both had such a huge impact on one another.
  • Edison– He was a sweet kid who loved his mother. A bond between a mother and son that shouldn’t be taken for granted.
  • Adisa– She was hilarious! What a potent character. Captured beautifully.
  • Turk Bauer– It was good to see how he developed with all of his experiences good and bad. His trans formative arc was very touching.
  • Brit Bauer– What an intense character! Loved her too. Too bad she suffered such an ending though.

 

Each character is symbolic of something deeply rooted in our society. But love overcomes all things. 

 

 

 

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Love suffers long. Love is kind; it is not jealous. Love does not brag and is not puffed up- 1 Cor. 13:4

 

“…does not take account of evil- 1 Cor. 13:5

 

“It covers all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.-1 Cor.13:7

*All verses are taken from the New Testament Recovery version Bible*

 

 

 

“With love, everybody wins.”-Benjamin Thomas

 

 

 

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“No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.-Nelson Mandela

 

 

 

THANKS JODI PICOULT FOR BEING WONDER WOMAN!

 

 

 

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Benjamin Thomas

@thewritingtrain

http://www.thewritingtrain.com

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