Small Great Things: A Novel

Jodi Picoult
With richly layered characters and a gripping moral dilemma that will lead readers to question everything they know about privilege, power, and race, Small Great Things is the stunning new page-turner from #1 New York Times bestselling author Jodi Picoult.   “[Picoult] offers a thought-provoking examination of racism in America today, both overt and subtle. Her many readers will find much to discuss in the pages of this topical, moving book.”—Booklist (starred review)  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.Praise for Jodi Picoult’s Leaving Time   “A riveting drama.”—Us Weekly   “[A] moving tale.”—People   “A fast-paced, surprise-ending mystery.”—USA Today   “Poignant . . . an entertaining story about parental love, friendship, loss.”—The Washington Post


Reviewed: 2016-10-07
This is an ARC review given without compensation

So this was my first book by Jodi Picoult and I wasn't disappointed overall. I would have given four stars but the plot and pacing did feel a bit forced, pushed on the reader instead of a steady flow. However it didn't kill the fact that the author created a wonderful piece of work.

The players were rich even if a bit stereotypical on some levels but it made me want to read more. I had to put down the book a few times for work and couldn't get it out of my head, so that's always a good sign. Plus lots of twists and turns, racial relations issues and hard to swallow but well thought out points added to the addiction. I will say that reading Small Great Things angered me. Not the subject matter itself, no, but some of the antagonists are very easy to honestly hate. I found myself having to walk away every once in a while because I honestly wanted to rip apart the book out of my absolute disdain for some of the characters. But that's good if you're wrapped up in the passion of it all, right?

I will say that at times things feel a bit too preachy, more like you're getting beaten over the head with the point. The legal points are also a bit sketchy. But still, plot devices being what they are.....

This isn't a feel good chick lit kind of book like book clubs love to push lately but don't let it deter you. Certainly worth the read even if there's a few bumps in the road.
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@19bookworm08 completed #smallgreatthings... on 2016-10-22