Friday, 15 June 2018

Book Review: Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult

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 check-up on a new-born, 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.

Let it be known, I have read all bar three of Jodi Picoult's previous novels. And I'm eagerly awaiting her latest, due out in October/November. So when I say this, I say it with confidence. Small Great Things is Jodi Picoult's finest novel yet. 

Small Great Things is a fantastic, insightful, candid and emotional read from a stunningly talented author. This book had me questioning everything I believe in, my own morals, and how I feel about race. If you've never thought of yourself as a racist before, I guarantee this book will have you thinking totally differently. 

It's not an easy read. In fact, in parts, it's downright uncomfortable. But Small Great Things is such a necessary read in a time when race is still, somehow, an issue. A reason for hate crimes and bias. Everybody, from school and upwards, should be reading Small Great Things. It'll not only open, but also blow, your mind. 

Rating: *****

Have you read anything by Jodi Picoult?

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