I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult
Published by Ballantine Books on 10/11/2016
Pages: 480 pages
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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 is my first Jodi Picoult book I have read and Small Great Things was for me a book that I won’t soon forget.
When Ruth Jefferson who has worked as a labor and delivery nurse for more than twenty years walks into the room of Turk and Brittany Bauer who delivered their baby overnight, it is a life changing moment for all. Ruth is not seeing the way the parents are giving her the side eye because she is tending to little Davis Bauer. When she touches Brittany while helping get little Davis in her arms for nursing, Turk tells her to leave his wife alone and asks for a supervisor. Turk then tells the supervisor “I don’t want HER to touch my son again” Or “HER KIND” as it turns out when Ruth just thinks it is personal, but it’s about something bigger.
After a tragedy occurs when Ruth is left alone with the baby, she needs an Atty. And Kennedy McQuarrie gets the case. Ruth is not feeling the defense Kennedy is doing for her, and it becomes a tipping point in the book that becomes riveting. Race is a reoccurring theme throughout the book and is never an easy topic to write about for black folks and heightened when your white and Jodi Picoult nailed it for me. I attribute her ability to pull this off because she did her research which was brilliant. Check out her bibliography at the end of the book. I have read a lot of those works noted.
I didn’t care for a few of the characters in this book, Turk and his wife being at the top of the list and sadly if we are honest, we know his types exist. White supremacy is real.
I think this is a book club read that will make for some real interesting discussions and I also see it as a movie because it is raw and timely. I highly recommend you buy and read this work by Jodi Picoult!
Reviewed by: Linda C.