“Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are. —BENJAMIN FRANKLIN”
Synopsis: Jodi Picoult is an author of 23 novels. 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 check-up on a new-born, 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.
Review: Jodi Picoult is one of my favourite authors, her books always have such incredible plots & once you start reading any of her books, they are hard to put down. Small Great Thing’s main topic is racism. In today’s world, racism & hate crimes are greatly on the rise & I believe Small Great Things gives everyone something to think about & I truly think everyone should read the book at-least once.
“Equality is treating everyone the same. But equity is taking differences into account, so everyone has a chance to succeed. The first one sounds fair. The second one is fair.”
“When I started working on this case, ladies and gentlemen. I didn’t see myself as a racist. Now I realize I am. Not because I hate people of different races but because – intentionally or unintentionally – I’ve gotten a boost from the colour of my skin, just like Ruth Jefferson suffered a setback because of hers. There is a difference between active and passive racism. It’s kind of like when you get on the moving walkway at the airport. If you walk down it, you’re going to get to the other faster than if you stand still. But you’re ultimately going to wind up in the same spot. Active racism is telling a nurse supervisor that an African American nurse can’t touch your baby. It’s snickering at a black joke. But passive racism? It’s noticing there’s only one person of colour in your office and not asking your boss why. It’s reading your kid’s fourth-grade curriculum and seeing that the only black history covered is slavery, and not questioning why. It’s defending a woman in court whose indictment directly resulted from her race… and glossing over that face, like it hardly matters.”
“Most of us think the word racism is synonymous with the word prejudice. But racism is more than just discrimination based on skin colour. It’s also about who has institutional power. Just as racism creates disadvantages for people of colour that makes success harder to achieve, it also gives advantages to white people that make success easier to achieve. It’s hard to see those advantages, much less own up to them.”
It was very well written & in the Author note, Jodi mentions that she really did her research about racism between races & she says: “When I was researching this book, I asked white mothers how often they talked about racism with their children. Some said occasionally; some admitted they never discussed it. When I asked the same question of Black mothers, they all said, Every day.” I loved every bit of it, there is a switch in POVs between the main characters: Ruth, Kennedy & Turk. The readers get a 360-degree view of what each character was experiencing & it gave a lot more depth to the story. The twist at the end was unexpected & I’m so glad *spoiler alert* that Turk changes his ways & things become right. It’s very important for people all over the world to acknowledge the differences between us & move forward together, stronger.