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Small Great Things: The bestselling novel you won't want to miss Paperback – 20 Apr 2017
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There is a fire raging, and we have two choices: we can turn our backs, or we can try to fight it ((from the author's afterword))
The most important novel Jodi Picoult has ever written (Washington Post)
A thought-provoking and unputdownable novel about race and prejudice that shows Picoult at her very best. (Woman & Home)
No book could be more timely in its message than Small Great Things . . . The story prodded me to take a good, hard look at my own biases and preconceptions (Metro)
The book makes for a harrowing and at times heartbreaking read but is absolutely brilliant. It deserves to be read by everyone (***** Sun)
The narrative rips along at a great pace, she writes dialogue like a pro, and her suspenseful control of the courtroom scenes is masterfully done. (Independent)
[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)
The eye-opening new novel and Sunday Times bestseller from Jodi Picoult, with the biggest of themes: birth, death, and responsibility.See all Product description
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The reviewer who said she stopped reading after the point of Ruth’s arrest because it was “unrealistic “, should perhaps familiarise herself more with the American legal system and be grateful she doesn’t live there! Which is turn makes me think an interesting discussion would be how far different are things in America? I was shocked that the presumption of free speech in the USA would allow an organisation such as a hospital to forbid an African-American nurse to treat a white child. Unless I am very wrong, that would be illegal here.
But as many other readers have also said, I found myself questioning my innate racism. I hope this book will stay with me and keep challenging me to face up to deep-seated and ingrained prejudices.
It isn’t a courtroom drama as such - I found the courtroom aspect enough and not long winded or boring. It kept you gripped. The story is based on a baby of a white supremacist who dies in hospital shortly after being born. The nurse accused of killing him is African American. I highly recommend this book. It kept me turning the pages!
I think this book did an amazing job at opening up the topic of racism to the reader. As a white woman, living in a pretty middle class existence, I know for a fact that I have unfair privileges and I will never fully understand the complexities of racism, as much as I try to educate myself. This novel certainly has opened my eyes to the some of the more subtle aspects of racism that I hadn’t even thought about before. While there were the obvious racist themes in this novel, it wasn’t those that shocked me the most, it was the parts that you don’t often think about when you think of racism. So for that, for opening my eyes and my mind, I applaud Picoult for writing such a difficult and controversial book.
However, I think the teachings of this book could have been done in a more compelling story. At the end of the day, there was nothing inherently wrong with the plot, but I didn’t quite connect with it. I found a lot of it unexciting and the “twist” at the end, that Picoult just has to add into each one of her books, was so blatantly obvious it didn’t surprise me at all and kind of made the rest of the book feel a bit cheap?
Picoult’s writing isn’t my favourite, it doesn’t suck me in as much as other authors, but its still weaves a pretty interesting story. I think the characters in this book were far stronger than the plot.
My favourite part of this novel was watching Ruth and Kennedy’s relationship grow. I loved seeing how Kennedy steadily grew to understand Ruth’s frustrations and her plight to bring race to the forefront of people’s minds.
Overall, I did enjoy this book, mainly because of what it taught me and how it’s made me see things in a different way. But, it’s not the most exciting story I’ve ever read and I’m not big on the writing style.
Ruth is a woman of colour working on a labour and delivery ward with twenty years when she encounters a baby in distress. The parents of this baby are white supremacists. She has been warned not to touch this baby. She hesitates but then performs CPR. What happens next will change Ruths life forever.
It will also change the life of Kennedy the white public defender assigned to Ruths case. Delving in to obvious prejudice and racism by white supremacists and also the subtle prejudices in our society that are not as obvious.
It is a powerful read that I would recommend to absolutely everyone.