Book Review by Dinh.
My interest was piqued on reading the blurb on the book jacket of Jodi Picoult’s book Small Great Things. It looked like it will be a thought-provoking book!
I have read a couple of Picoult’s book so I know she’s a decent writer and familiar with her style of writing.
Did Small Great Things live up to my expectation? Yes it did!
Here’s what I loved about the book:
I really enjoyed the story line of this book.
A labor and delivery nurse named Ruth, who happens to be black, is reassigned to another patient because the parents of the newborn did not want a black nurse to touch their child. The parents of the newborn are white supremacist.
Later, due to shortage in staff, Ruth is alone with the newborn when he goes into cardiac arrest. Ruth has a dilemma and hesitates.
The baby dies and Ruth is later accused of murder of the baby.
I loved how the author based her book on real events and weaved a believable story that pulls you in from the beginning and keep you turning the pages.
The story line has a premise that is plausible and I liked the combination of the medical and legal drama in this book. The story line had many medical terms but explained in laymen’s terms.
The pace of the book is excellent. There’s never a dull moment or a lull in the book. The tension builds up quickly as the trial goes on with the peak at the sentencing.
I enjoyed how the book is told from three points of view – Turk, Ruth and Kennedy. I did find it hard to read Turk’s narrative especially when goes off on his racist diatribe.
Picoult does a good job in portraying the variety of characters. Although I felt uncomfortable in reading Turk’s story, I felt that his character was the most developed.
Picoult does a fantastic job in adding twists into the story line! I loved how I was surprised over and over.
Overall, the book’s framework from stage one: early labor to stage three: aftermath was a clever way to showcase the theme of transformation. Other themes such as racism, prejudice and power was also conveyed well through the characters.
Ruth Jefferson is a labor and delivery nurse with over twenty years of experience. Ruth is educated and works hard to build a good life for her and her son Edison. Ruth’s life is shattered when she is accused of murder of baby Davis Bauer. Her belief in working hard to cross the class divide is shattered.
Turk Bauer is a white supremacist and is involved with the White Power Movement. He is often depicted sympathetically through his home life with his wife Brit. It shows the complexity of his character and sets the foundation of his redemption in the end.
Kennedy McQuarrie is a public defender and lives a privilege life. She is a wife to a doctor and has a daughter. She starts off as an idealist and believes justice should be color blind but by the end of the book she is more realistic and sees prejudices and her privilege’s.
I loved how the build up of the story cumulated with a twist or two at the end!
The ending did leave a positive message and I liked that. The optimistic message was that people can change for the good.
My Final Thoughts
I loved Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult!
This is a great page-turner book that will engross you from the beginning and keep you engaged until the end.
This book is definitely thought provoking and hits home the themes of racism and power.
I highly recommend this book!
Belong to a book club? Check out Small Great Things Book Club Discussion Questions!