Small Great Things: A Novel
Black or white? Right or wrong? Yes or no? Fair or Unfair? In Small Great Things, by Jodi Picoult, delivers another book that not only will draw readers in but tells a story that could be happening today. First, there is Ruth. She is nurse who has worked in labor and delivery at the same hospital and has done an exemplary job at it for years. Well- liked by her co-workers and patients alike through the happy and the sad Ruth has seen it all. She also happens to be African American. Then there are Turk and Brit. They are a young couple who have just welcomed their first child at the same hospital where Ruth works. With their newborn son Davis, they are the picture of a happy family. Turk and Brit also happen to be white supremacists. These lives collide in the hospital and it is a single post-it note and a life or death situation that change all their worlds in an instant. Now, as Turk and Brit mourn the loss of their son, Ruth finds herself without a job, nursing license and on trial for the death of Davis. Kennedy, a public defender, meets Ruth in the courtroom and asks her boss if she can take on Ruth’s case. A bit out of her comfort zone, Kennedy is determined to get Ruth an acquittal based solely on burden of proof and not race. As the trial move forward emotions on both sides of the courtroom begin to boil over. Brit and Turk want justice or blood depending on how you read it. Ruth wants justice, the truth and her dignity. However, as worlds and ultimately races collide, eyes are opened as well as wounds and in the end whether there is a winner is a very fine line.
Best-selling author, Jodi Picoult has once again written a novel that puts its finger on the very pulse of the nation that we live in today. We live in a time where you can’t open a newspaper or magazine or turn on a television and hear about stories centered on race, right and wrong and then some. In Small Great Things, we read a story about fictional characters in a fictional situation that could be happening this very second. Picoult also brings in actual events and names into the story that add to the readers’ ability to visualize what is happening in the book and allowing them the opportunity to look again at the world around them. A fantastic read from beginning to end, as can always be expected from Picoult, this novel maintains a steady, page turning pace that make it hard for readers to put down. It also allows for conversations to be had and for people to sit back and look at their life, actions (past and present) and wonder how they will move forward. This is a fantastic book not only because it addresses something that happens in America and around the world every day, but it also shows us that change is also possible too.