Over the holiday season, one of my goals was to finish a novel that I’ve had sitting on my shelf for a pretty long time (as in, I got it for Christmas like 3 years ago or something like that). It was a pretty thick novel, coming in at almost 500 pages. I knew I could do it though because Jodi Picoult is one of my most favourite authors of all time and once I get into one of her books, I can’t set it down.
I’ve read a ton of her different books, and I’m obsessed with how she writes. Each chapter is usually the same kind of event but from different character perspectives. There’s also usually something super scandalous and then some sort of a court trial and a crazy turn of events or something wild happens that you didn’t expect. So I embarked on my mission to read Small Great Things over the holidays and I absolutely succeeded, as I figured lol.
Here’s what Jodi wrote about Small Great Things.
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?JodiPicoult.com
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 book dives deep into a world that most people are afraid to talk about – the big topic of white privilege and what it’s like growing up black in middle-class America. I loved everything about it and how Jodi isn’t afraid to talk about these issues that are actually real life, non-fiction problems that people face on a daily basis.
It taught me a lot, from just writing about experiences black people have on a daily basis that I would never know, thanks to my own white privilege. It taught me that even though as a white female I naturally am given this privilege, it’s not something I had to work for. The smallest things like going shopping and not have someone follow me is something that I wouldn’t ever think about because it’s not something that I would ever HAVE to think about.
Another one of her novels is done and I’m still totally in love with her books. If you’re looking for your next page turner, this is definitely it. Especially if you like a good novel that’s going to actually teach you something whether about people or about the justice system itself, I always come away from her books with some new sort of knowledge.
Love love love! <3