What can I possibly say about a book as metaphorically heavy as Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult? A book that made me stop, on multiple occasions to think about my life, who I am, my beliefs, my choices, prejudices, a book that just made me realize my ignorance and my ability to look past certain issues because of the color of my skin?
In light of things that have happened in the United States this year, and years passed, as far as the Black Lives Matter movement, and the senseless killing and jailing of black men, this book was crucial for me. I don’t usually like to speak on these matters, because I feel that because I am white, I don’t know what to say or don’t know how to relate to this epidemic in our country. However, I do understand that it is my responsibility to be educated on it, and to have compassion as well as disgust over the senseless murders of black men by police officers. I’m not really sure where I am going with this, but what I’m trying to say is I have had my eyes opened recently, and part of it was because of this book.
This book talks about race, prejudice, and acceptance. Things that we hear about every day, but may not pay close attention to unless it directly effects us. When Ruth Jefferson, a labor and delivery nurse, goes on a routine check up for a newborn baby boy, she is stunned when the father of that baby is a white supremacist who does not want Ruth to touch his child. He tells her to stop, and makes her leave. Soon she finds out that she is no longer assigned to that patient and must not touch the baby for any reason.
After the baby receives a circumcision, he is waiting in the nursery, being monitored by another nurse. That nurse gets called to help with an emergency c-section, and the only one left to watch him is Ruth. The baby goes into cardiac arrest and Ruth has no idea what to do, she’s been told not to touch him, but everything in her body and soul tells her to help. Soon, the baby passes away and Ruth could be the reason why.
Of course, the parents sue Ruth, and she is soon assigned a white public defender named Kennedy, who plans to fight for Ruth tooth and nail. Except, she can’t really understand the racial dispute that has happened because she doesn’t know what it’s like to be black ( I know I don’t and this is where it was extremely eye opening for me.)
This book is powerful, this book is well researched and well written. I have no read a Jodi Picoult book in a couple of years, and this just completely put her right back on my favorite authors list. I think this book will give you chills and teach you something. Honestly, there is so much more I want to say about this book but I just don’t know how. I really hope that you read it. I give this book 5 out of 5 stars, and many more. I received this book from netgalley in exchange for an honest review.