Posts Tagged ‘Small Great Things’


Author: Jodi Picoult

Published: 22 November 2016
Reviewed: 23 November 2016

4 out of 5 stars
Copy supplied by Hodder and Stoughton in return for an honest review



When a newborn baby dies after a routine hospital procedure, there is no doubt about who will be held responsible: the nurse who had been banned from looking after him by his father.

What the nurse, her lawyer and the father of the child cannot know is how this death will irrevocably change all of their lives, in ways both expected and not.

Small Great Things is about prejudice and power; it is about that which divides and unites us.

It is about opening your eyes.

My Thoughts & Review:

Initially when I first heard about this book it had no note of the author or the title, it was titled “Can you #ReadWithoutPrejudice?” and the description was as equally ambiguous….

There are two points in life when we are all equal: at the moment of birth and at the moment of death. It is how we live in between that defines us.
Delicately balanced.
Perfectly crafted.
Beautifully written.
We want you to immerse yourself in this dazzling novel, free from any preconceptions that a cover, title or author can bring.
We ask you simply to #readwithoutprejudice.

A clever way to market the book to early readers, instantly the reader is intrigued and wondering what the significance of the vague title and description are, why the cover is black and white and most importantly, why there is the need to #readwithoutprejudice.

It turns out that Small Great Things is the title of this book and the story follows Ruth who is a well respected and much liked midwife.  But one day, a couple in the hospital forbid Ruth to touch their child, they are white supremacists and Ruth is black.  Unfortunately the baby is in severe distress and Ruth cannot ignore her training or her instincts, doing the right thing would risk everything, but to ignore the child would be doing the wrong thing.  The baby dies and Ruth is held accountable.  The family blame her, the hospital fearing repercussions cut all ties with Ruth, offering no support and leaving her jobless.
Aid comes in the form of a public defender, Kennedy takes on Ruth’s case.

Certain aspects of this story were dumbfounding to read, the depths of the racism and the white supremacy in this were very hard to read, and even more shocking was the willingness of the hospital to accept this.  This definitely falls into the category of heart wrenching reads that audiences have come to know and love from Picoult.  Very powerful stuff, it gives the reader pause to consider how far society has come, but also to make the reader realise that there is still a long way to go when it comes to racial prejudice.

The writing itself is good, Picoult has done some impressive research that flows through the narrative.  This is a book that will stay with you days, if not weeks after you’ve read it.

You can pre order a copy of Small Great Things here.

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