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October 11, 2016

Review: Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult

by Susan Roberts

cover Small Great Things"I didn't write this novel because I thought it would be fun or easy.  I wrote it because it was the right thing to do and because the things that make us most uncomfortable are the things that teach us what we all need to know."

"There is a fire raging and we have two choices:  we can turn our backs or we can try to fight it.  Yes, talking about racism is hard to do and yes, we stumble over the words..." (Jodi Picoult in the afterword of Small Great Things)

I am a long time fan of Jodi Picoult and enjoy her way of not only presenting a wonderful story but also educating her readers on a particular subject. In her new novel, she educates us on racism. Ruth, a black labor and delivery nurse with 20 years experience is removed from taking care of a new baby born to a white supremacist couple. The results of this decision have tragic consequences that end up with Ruth on trial for murder.

Ruth is a fantastic main character and I wanted to see her vindicated of the charges. As a black woman, she has faced prejudice every day of her life. Her public defender, Kennedy, feels that she understands Ruth and her life but even she has to work through some of her deep feelings.

Small Great Things is told from three perspectives - Ruth, Kennedy, and Turk, the white supremacist. So we get a view of the broad spectrum of racism that exists in our culture today. Several times, I had to put the book down. There are parts - especially in Turk's parts, that are so full of hatred, that they were difficult to read. There are other parts, especially when Ruth is talking, that made me put the book down to think through my feelings and attitudes.

Picoult has written a fantastic book and at the end, she explains why she wrote the book and what she learned about herself while she was writing. She may get some backlash for this book because it's such a divisive subject in today's society. This is a book that should be read AND discussed in every household in America. Thank you, Jodi.

Buy Small Great Things at Amazon

Susan Roberts, reviewer. Susan grew up in the Detroit area but after deciding that city life wasn't for her she moved to North Carolina after college. She and her husband have several acres of land and they enjoy gardening and canning vegetables in the summer. They travel extensively. Susan reads almost anything (and the piles of books in her house prove that) but her favorite genres are Southern fiction, women's fiction, and thrillers. Susan is a top 1% Goodreads Reviewer. You can connect with Susan on Facebook or Twitter.

Book info:
available formats: ebook and print (480 pages)
published: October 2016 by Ballantine Books
ISBN13: 9780345544957
genres: family saga
a free galley was provided by NetGalley for a fair and honest review

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