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@Read Book Ô Small Great Things ⚼ Ruth Jefferson is a labor and delivery nurse at a Connecticut hospital with 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 Jodi Picoult has been a best selling author for over twenty years Twenty years ago she wanted to discuss a hot button issue but did not feel like she had the platform to do so About a year ago, Picoult read where a black female nurse in Flint, Michigan had been dismissed by a white supremacist patient over skin color Feeling that the time was right to discuss race, Picoult used this court case as a basis for Small Great Things, her current best selling novel Ruth Jefferson has been a labor a Jodi Picoult has been a best selling author for over twenty years Twenty years ago she wanted to discuss a hot button issue but did not feel like she had the platform to do so About a year ago, Picoult read where a black female nurse in Flint, Michigan had been dismissed by a white supremacist patient over skin color Feeling that the time was right to discuss race, Picoult used this court case as a basis for Small Great Things, her current best selling novel Ruth Jefferson has been a labor and delivery nurse for over twenty years On one snowy Saturday, she is assigned to Davis Bauer, the child of Turk and Brittany Bauer When the parents see Ruth, they go ballistic because they are members of the Aryan movement and do not want someone like her touching their baby Reassigned, Ruth is enraged but does her job, yet by doing her job to the fullest, Davis Bauer dies in her care, or so it seems The parents automatically point to Ruth, her license is revoked, and the drama begins Picoult alternates the novel from the points of view of Ruth, Turk, and Kennedy McQuarrie, Ruth s attorney Employing flashbacks and the present day narrative, Picoult creates rich, multi layered characters who all bring varying perspectives on the rap on race to the table Ruth who has been building up rage her entire life by having to fit into a white society that does not accept her Turk who believes the white superiority movement from a young age and has just as much rage inside him Kennedy a middle class, caucasian lawyer who has enjoyed white privilege for her entire life and has not realized it until taking on Ruth s case Adding to the tapestry of the novel are supporting characters who bring their own views on race to the table, creating a rich story While an enriching story, I did find some parts cliched Additionally, while the story is captivating, the prose is limited and straight forward This makes for a fast reading novel, but one that most likely will not win awards for its literary prowess Yet, Picoult weaves an intricate cast of characters, making it easy for me to like Ruth and just as easy for me to detest Turk and Brittany and their followers As a result, I quickly read through the pages to find the end result to Ruth s case Easy reading women s literature is not a genre I generally subscribe to Many of my goodreads friends had read Small Great Things and I was curious about the story Even through Jodi Picoult has been writing best sellers for over twenty years, she did not have to write about race, just as Kennedy did not have to take on Ruth s case this takes courage Basing her title on a famous quote by Dr Martin Luther King, Picoult does take on this issue that still dominates headlines Despite the cliches and some obvious story lines, I found Small Great Things to be a thought provoking read that had me exploring many sides of the race debate in this country An easy read that I read in a better part of a day, I rate Small Great Things a solid 3.75 stars The State just sees a dead baby They re targeting you because they think you failed as a nurse You re wrong I shake my head in the darkness, and I say the words I ve swallowed down my whole life They re targeting me because I m Black3 1 2 stars I have some issues with the ending, but otherwise Small Great Things is such a pageturner It s the kind of book you can easily stay up until 2am to finish even without the teething infant to help you along True, it s Racism 101 for whiThe State just sees a dead baby They re targeting you because they think you failed as a nurse You re wrong I shake my head in the darkness, and I say the words I ve swallowed down my whole life They re targeting me because I m Black3 1 2 stars I have some issues with the ending, but otherwise Small Great Things is such a pageturner It s the kind of book you can easily stay up until 2am to finish even without the teething infant to help you along True, it s Racism 101 for white Americans, but I kind of think it s a message they need to hear.You know, I guess I had some prejudice against Jodi Picoult before going into this I had only read one book by her My Sister s Keeper and that was at least ten years ago In my mind, I ve always associated her with mindless chick lit novels, especially because people were comparing her to Liane Moriarty on my less than favorable review of Truly Madly Guilty But if this book is anything to go by, she s vicious.Small Great Things is a horrible, emotive book that puts both racism and white privilege on trial in a nail biting courtroom drama.It all starts when Ruth Jefferson, a black Labor Delivery nurse, is told to keep away from the newborn son of white supremacists On the busy ward, though, it is Ruth who finds herself the only nurse in the room when the baby goes into cardiac distress She hesitates and is arrested on suspicion of not just negligence, but of racially charged murder How am I supposed to encourage my son to be better than most people expect him to be How can I say, with a straight face, you can be anything you want in this world when I struggled and studied and excelled and still wound up on trial for something I did not doThe story moves between the perspectives of Ruth, her white public defender Kennedy McQuarrie, and the neo nazi father of the deceased child Picoult develops all her characters, even painting in a back story for the repulsive Turk Bauer, never allowing him to simply be a villain without context His life is revealed to us, as is his nauseating journey to white supremacism.I think this book works so well because it isn t so much about portraying racism through a black woman s eyes as it is about a white definitely not racist lawyer facing up to her white privilege, acknowledging its existence, and using it for good And no, that doesn t mean using it to speak for minorities it means using it to give them a platform to tell their own story Small Great Things could have been all kinds of wrong if the white author had attempted to be a spokesperson for black Americans but it is instead an appeal to white people to open their eyes Stop pretending white privilege doesn t exist There s a tendency among white Americans and Europeans to believe that I m not racist or I don t even see colour is somehow good enough It s not good enough Not seeing colour is a luxury that only white people have, and most often it s a lie anyway.Look at me I consider myself an open minded, forward thinking person Yeah, I give myself a little mental pat on the back for pointing out sexism, racism, homophobia and transphobia in books I m a dirty liberal Bernie Sanders is , a former Politics major, with a badass gay brother, a Muslim best friend, and a mixed race baby boy I m like a poster child for annoying, white femi liberal But a few months ago I noticed something different on Kirkus Reviews I noticed that all their reviews now state the race of the characters For example this white teen or the white protagonist And my first instinct was confusion why are they doing that Why do they feel the need to tell us that she s white It took me several fucking weeks for it to come crashing down on me like a fat ton of white privilege The question I should have been asking wasn t why are they telling me they re white but why didn t I need to be told that and why did I assume they were white in the first place That was the problem all along I looked at that and immediately thought it was unnecessary in a way that I didn t feel it was unnecessary to be told if a character was black Because white is the default Still Today In 2016 Even by rainbow flag waving weirdos like me If you say person , we assume white And that, my friends, is white privilege.This book is about all the ways, big and small, life is madeor less restrictive for someone because of the colour of their skin Kennedy tries to tell herself over and over that the case isn t about race, that racial politics have no place in a courtroom, but as the trial wears on, she can t ignore it Race is in the courtroom it always has been.Everything was going great until the epilogue I think I understand it the author probably wanted to show what could happen in an ideal world if white people check their privilege but it is a little too idealistic, oversimplifying the solution to racism, hate crime and hundreds of years of American history While the optimism after such an emotionally draining read is welcome, it feels out of place A book like this gains strength from its realism, not its hopeful fantasies.Blog Facebook Twitter Instagram Youtube Store I have tried to write this review several times I guess I have a lot of thoughts about this novel.My first thought is that Jodi Picoult did not write this for me I don t know what the demographic is for Ms Picoult s novels but being a book person for a long time and having been to a couple of her book readings, I think I can make a pretty accurate guess at the demographic that buys her novels So this is a novel that was written for white women and it doesn t stray far from Ms Picoult s othe I have tried to write this review several times I guess I have a lot of thoughts about this novel.My first thought is that Jodi Picoult did not write this for me I don t know what the demographic is for Ms Picoult s novels but being a book person for a long time and having been to a couple of her book readings, I think I can make a pretty accurate guess at the demographic that buys her novels So this is a novel that was written for white women and it doesn t stray far from Ms Picoult s other novels So it will most likely do very well in terms of how much it s read.Even as I m writing this I can feel the huge BUT that comes after all of that My but is that this is really Ruth s story Ruth is the African American nurse who is accused of harming the infant of a white supremacist couple We see things from Ruth s perspective, the husband s perspective, and Ruth s lawyer s perspective By showing all of the perspectives, we get the whole well rounded story, right Not reallybecause this is Ruth s story or it should have been As I was reading, I couldn t help but ask myself, how many other novels written by people of color about people of color could have been published The answer is a lot but how many of them would have been read by Jodi Picoult s readers I have no idea Yes I do I don t begrudge Ms Picoult writing Small Great Things I don t believe that white authors shouldn t write from the perspective of people of color My issue and I guess it is an issue because it s been nagging at me since I finished this book is the execution of it Ms Picoult wrote a how to not be racist novel for white people Every single cliche and trope that has ever happened to a person of color is in this novel The hyenas in The Lion King They get a mention The lawyer tells Ruth she doesn t see color Yes, that happens Here is where I say that I don t speak for all Black people Okay I connected with Ruth very much I did the same things she did I did well in school, I didn t flaunt my color, I believed that if I just acted the same as everyone else around me, I d be treated the same And that s just not the case I ve been at work where I was one of a few people of color and had someone say something inappropriate Sometimes I used it as a teaching moment,often than not, I rolled my eyes and moved on I ve wondered about encounters with salespeople Are they having a bad day or do they just not want to be helping me buy this Why are they so friendly to the pretty blonde lady behind me I didn t want Ruth to have to be a teaching moment I wanted Ruth to be able to have her story without the function being to teach white people something I believe that if this was written by a person of color, this would have been Ruth s story.I gave Small Great Things 4 starsit slike 3.5 but I do enjoy a Jodi Picoult novel every once in awhile 10 9 16 I m updating to include an exchange I had with Jodi Picoult over Twitter during the debate tonight A black gentleman from the audience asked a question that literally had nothing to do with race but Trump made it about race talking about how he would improve the inner cities for the black people living in hell there Here was Ms Picoult s response This is the kind of thing that she would include in her book as an example of a well meaning white person making a point to Donald Trump Are the Obamas the only black people she knows Obviously, Trump is not talking about wealthy famous people like the President and Mrs Obama He is talking about me and my family It s a little thing which is why it s called a microaggression but the Obamas aren t all black people and the inner city isn t hell And Jodi Picoult knows better Or she should after writing this book.Update 10 10 16 I don t usually change my stars when I review a book TheI talk about this book with people, theI realize that I am giving it the benefit of the doubt and it doesn t deserve that from me It s a solid 2 stars The way Ms Picoult chose to tell this story rubs me the wrong way If other people get something out of it, that s great And I ll admit to being a little petty about her Obama text last night That cost her half a star I have so much to say about how terrible this book is I hated it I hated it so much idk how I even finshed it I don t think I ve ever rolled my eyes this much while reading a book.I am a black female medical student The whole premise of this book is completely wrong There is no way any medical professional was allowing a supervisor s rule prevent them from saving a patient in an emergency We swear to do no harm and to act in the benefit of the patient This would never happen, and if it di I have so much to say about how terrible this book is I hated it I hated it so much idk how I even finshed it I don t think I ve ever rolled my eyes this much while reading a book.I am a black female medical student The whole premise of this book is completely wrong There is no way any medical professional was allowing a supervisor s rule prevent them from saving a patient in an emergency We swear to do no harm and to act in the benefit of the patient This would never happen, and if it did, then of course the nurse would be guilty of negligent homicide Ruth is guilty, idgaf what the patient s family said, you save that baby She has a moral and legal obligation to save that baby But the point is, that would never happen.Jodi Picoult is not black Yet she writes in the point of view of a black woman and her life struggles She does not know our struggle There are so many little inaccuracies throughout the book that prove that she was not in the position to tell this story For example, Ruth got bullied for her light skin Are you fucking kidding me Yes there is a division between light skin and dark skin, but dark skin is always always always on the losing side So that pissed me off Also, Ruth was the only black nurse in the department Highly unlikely Walk into any hospital esp on the east coast there are numerous black nurses Idk if that was for dramatic effect but no There was this part where Kennedy was like she told me about weaves and extensions, I told her about sunburns Black people get sunburns, we know how it works like wtf.I can t even begin to talk about this damn trial Picoult really tried, she did But again, Ruth is the stubborn angry black woman who doesnt listen to counsel and explodes in court Ughhh everything about this book made me so mad I hated the little anecdotes and metaphors, hated all of the characters except maybe Violet and Edison Also the ending was completely ridiculous But hey it made me laugh that Britt was half black The scariest thing about this is the prevalence of white supremacists I mean Donald Trump is our president we have so much to fear.Maybe I m nitpicking but all these little things add up and I got so angry while reading this because of how ridiculous it is If anything, I hope this story inspired white people to pause and acknowledge their implicit bias.I would suggest greys anatomy for arealistic take on a similar topic The episode when a white male supremacist enters the emergency room and he has a nazi tattoo and refuses to be seen by non white physicians, but bailey saves his life anyway because she understands non judgmental regard