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Check it Out — Small Great Things

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Reviewed by Bobbi Benson I was born into a life of privilege. Not the 'shall we take the Rolls or the Jag today' kind of privilege, but a comfortable, dependable kind. I never wanted for books, or music, or education. I've never walked around in this world and been judged by strangers simply for being who I am.

In her new book "Small Great Things" Jodi Picoult confronts this type of privilege and compels us to empathize with those who have not been so lucky.

No stranger to controversy, Picoult tackles race relations in modern day America with her trademark insight and talent. Ruth Jefferson is a labor and delivery nurse working her regular shift, she begins her day with a new family who delivered a baby boy overnight, Ruth's examination of the baby is however cut short by the parents. Turk and Brittany are white supremacists and they do not want Ruth touching their baby.

Although uncomfortable with the situation the nursing supervisor agrees that Ruth is not to touch the child. Later, due to an emergency, Ruth is left alone in the nursery with baby Davis and he begins to turn blue, but Ruth is not allowed to touch him. Events transpire that lead to Ruth's arrest and subsequent trial where she is defended by Kennedy, a white liberal crusader of worthy causes.

In her usual style Jodi Picoult narrates 'Small Great Things' from three differing points of view. From Ruth's we see the struggle of her lifelong attempt to fit in, her determination in her education and career, and the intense pride and hope she has in her son. 

In Kennedy we see someone who only wants the best, but also someone who while entirely sympathetic, is not fully able to empathize, due both her class and race privilege.

Turk's chapters were full of hate and excruciating to read, his descent into the life of a neo-nazi, his marriage to Brittany, and despair for his son push us to emotional exhaustion.

The courtroom scenes are evocative of both "To Kill a Mockingbird" and "A Time to Kill".  While the case under review is ostensibly about the event at hand, it is in actuality about so much more. These greater issues prohibit the case from being solely tried on facts. 

"Small Great Things" provides us with a disheartening view of race relations in today's world, that Harper Lee could write about this in 1960, and John Grisham again could in 1989, and Jodi Picoult could again in 2016 speaks volumes.

 

Come check it out at Lewisporte Public Library. Our hours are:

Monday 1-5

Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday 10-12; 1:30-5

Wednesday 1:30-5; 6:30-8:30

In her new book "Small Great Things" Jodi Picoult confronts this type of privilege and compels us to empathize with those who have not been so lucky.

No stranger to controversy, Picoult tackles race relations in modern day America with her trademark insight and talent. Ruth Jefferson is a labor and delivery nurse working her regular shift, she begins her day with a new family who delivered a baby boy overnight, Ruth's examination of the baby is however cut short by the parents. Turk and Brittany are white supremacists and they do not want Ruth touching their baby.

Although uncomfortable with the situation the nursing supervisor agrees that Ruth is not to touch the child. Later, due to an emergency, Ruth is left alone in the nursery with baby Davis and he begins to turn blue, but Ruth is not allowed to touch him. Events transpire that lead to Ruth's arrest and subsequent trial where she is defended by Kennedy, a white liberal crusader of worthy causes.

In her usual style Jodi Picoult narrates 'Small Great Things' from three differing points of view. From Ruth's we see the struggle of her lifelong attempt to fit in, her determination in her education and career, and the intense pride and hope she has in her son. 

In Kennedy we see someone who only wants the best, but also someone who while entirely sympathetic, is not fully able to empathize, due both her class and race privilege.

Turk's chapters were full of hate and excruciating to read, his descent into the life of a neo-nazi, his marriage to Brittany, and despair for his son push us to emotional exhaustion.

The courtroom scenes are evocative of both "To Kill a Mockingbird" and "A Time to Kill".  While the case under review is ostensibly about the event at hand, it is in actuality about so much more. These greater issues prohibit the case from being solely tried on facts. 

"Small Great Things" provides us with a disheartening view of race relations in today's world, that Harper Lee could write about this in 1960, and John Grisham again could in 1989, and Jodi Picoult could again in 2016 speaks volumes.

 

Come check it out at Lewisporte Public Library. Our hours are:

Monday 1-5

Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday 10-12; 1:30-5

Wednesday 1:30-5; 6:30-8:30

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