Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult

I was given this book to read without knowing the title or author and asked to #readwithoutprejudice. Here are my thoughts.

Three central characters have strong beliefs about race and identity within their communities. Ruth is a black labour and delivery nurse who is on shift when Turk and his wife come in to have their baby. Turk is white, and cannot stand black people. When his son dies not long after being born he is looking for someone to take responsibility. Kennedy is the public defender assigned to the case who has quite a lot to learn about what racism really means to black Americans. The book explores their beliefs; how they formed, how they are challenged, and how they have changed over time.

Jodi Picoult exposes the experiences of black Americans. Nothing comes as much of a surprise, especially considering the Black Lives Matter movement, but it is an emotional read. The book provides a view of the fight to be treated equally and with respect. I love my historical fiction, so I had to keep reminding myself it is set in the current day and that things haven’t progressed as much as we would all like to think.

The writing is hard hitting with punchy one liners that are really quoteable. The story flows smoothly from the past to the present and back again as each character tells their version of the story. It is easy to race through the chapters with the smooth writing style and a clear distinction between the voices of each character. I could imagine this transferring well to a TV series or film.

Towards the end of the book everything comes to a head and the tone changes as the author takes the story one step further. Here I found it to be slightly confusing as it didn’t feel as well written as the rest of the book. A good point is made, but could have been done a little more directly. The ending was a little contrived, and perhaps could have been left out in order to allow the reader to come to their own conclusions.

Overall Jodi Picoult has captured a different voice to bring a strong message home to her readers.

Buy the book here or here

Details of Jodi Picoult’s UK tour can be found here U.K. Tour Dates

I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley.

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