#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • With richly layered characters and a gripping moral dilemma that will lead readers to question everything they know about privilege, power, and race, Small Great Things is the stunning new page-turner from Jodi Picoult.
SOON TO BE A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE
“[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)
Ruth Jefferson is a labor and delivery nurse at a Connecticut hospital with more than twenty years’ experience. During her shift, Ruth begins a routine checkup on a newborn, only to be told a few minutes later that she’s been reassigned to another patient. The parents are white supremacists and don’t want Ruth, who is African American, to touch their child. The hospital complies with their request, but the next day, the baby goes into cardiac distress while Ruth is alone in the nursery. Does she obey orders or does she intervene?
Ruth hesitates before performing CPR and, as a result, is charged with a serious crime. Kennedy McQuarrie, a white public defender, takes her case but gives unexpected advice: Kennedy insists that mentioning race in the courtroom is not a winning strategy. Conflicted by Kennedy’s counsel, Ruth tries to keep life as normal as possible for her family—especially her teenage son—as the case becomes a media sensation. As the trial moves forward, Ruth and Kennedy must gain each other’s trust, and come to see that what they’ve been taught their whole lives about others—and themselves—might be wrong.
With incredible empathy, intelligence, and candor, Jodi Picoult tackles race, privilege, prejudice, justice, and compassion—and doesn’t offer easy answers. Small Great Things is a remarkable achievement from a writer at the top of her game.
Praise for Small Great Things
“Small Great Things is the most important novel Jodi Picoult has ever written. . . . It will challenge her readers . . . [and] expand our cultural conversation about race and prejudice.”—The Washington Post
“A novel that puts its finger on the very pulse of the nation that we live in today . . . a fantastic read from beginning to end, as can always be expected from Picoult, this novel maintains a steady, page-turning pace that makes it hard for readers to put down.”—San Francisco Book Review
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Small Great Things, Jodi Picoult's 24th novel, is the remarkable story of an African-American nurse, a white supremacist couple, and one infant whose fate pits them against each other. But it’s so much more: an insightful exploration of the overburdened American justice system, a potent meditation on race, and a dramatic tour de force. The New York Times bestselling author is a supremely gifted storyteller whose characters are never less than unforgettable.
Bestselling author Picoult's latest page-turner is inspired by a Flint, Mich., event in which a white supremacist father refused to allow an experienced African-American labor and delivery nurse to touch his newborn. In Picoult's story, a medical crisis results in an infant's death and a murder charge against a black nurse named Ruth Jefferson. The story unfolds from three viewpoints: Ruth's, the infant's father a skinhead named Turk and Ruth's public defender, Kennedy McQuarrie, a white professional woman questioning her own views about racism. The author's comprehensive research brings veracity to Ruth's story as a professional black woman trying to fit into white society, to Turk's inducement into the white-power movement, and to Kennedy's soul-searching about what it's like to be black in America. Unfortunately, the author undermines this richly drawn and compelling story with a manipulative final plot twist as well as a Pollyannaish ending. Some may be put off by the moralistic undertone of Picoult's tale, while others will appreciate the inspiration it provides for a much-needed conversation about race and prejudice in America.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Absolutely in LOVE with this novel. I urge you to read Small Great Things
This is the first book I’ve finished reading in the past 5 years. I always wanted to read books but “ never had time” to finish reading one until I started to read this one - small great things. I just couldn’t stop reading it. The novel describes couple of characters who have different but strong personalities. From them, I learned not only the racial differences but more importantly, how to be a better self, no matter who you are.
🕯 BOOK REVIEW:
Woah...this book covers some sensitive controversial topics in a powerful way. Small Great Things is my first Jodi Picoult book and I definitely will be reading more of her work. Why? Because it made me THINK, it made me feel big uncomfortable feelings and examine the reason why I’m experiencing them. This book is not a light read. I tore into this book and it tore into me. My gosh, it really made me process racism and bias in our country and examine the perspectives of all those it touches.
Having worked as an RN and personally helped to deliver babies into this world, I felt a deep connection to the medical element of the story and it was fun to step back into that world through a book. The author really nailed it and did her research. In the first chapter, you discover the reason why Ruth became a labor and delivery nurse...and it’s not what you may have guessed it would be, but it is so moving it made my eyes tear up. I really enjoyed the court scenes and found the legal aspect fascinating, too.
I came across some of the most profound and beautiful quotes in this book, as well as some of the most difficult to read excerpts with concepts that made me feel so furious, disgusted, and frustrated. At times my heart felt tender and hopeful and at others my stomach was in knots. This is a book that will stay with me for the rest of my life, for better or worse. It was a thought provoking, eye-opening, challenging read that was extremely well written.
Stay tuned, there is a movie starring Viola Davis and Julia Roberts coming out and you’ve got plenty of time to read the book first! It was very hard to stomach the perspective of the white supremacist, but it also opened my eyes to the reality and severity of hate that exists in the world. I truly feel this would be a relevant and beneficial educational read for current high school and college students to discuss within class to promote racial awareness. It’s enlightening and written in such a captivating way that it completely engulfs you.
This book was worth pushing through the discomfort to reach the end when I could fully reflect and realize just how much I learned and discovered about my own self in the process. Outstanding.