Darwin Escapes

Small Great Things Book Review – Jodi Picoult


We review Jodi Picoult thought provoking novel ‘Small Great Things’…

From the author of My Sisters Keeper, Jodi Picoult comes a book which tackles a range of difficult topics and has created quite a discussion after it was selected for Richard and Judy’s famous summer 2017 book club.

Jodi Picoult is known for her thought provoking writing and taking on uneasy real life situations and bringing them into general conversation. Her most recent novel, Small Great Things, is no exception as she takes on both complicated and controversial topics surrounding racism, prejudice, pride, compassion and discrimination in contemporary America.

When an African American widowed labour and delivery nurse named Ruth Jefferson starts her usual routine check-ups on a new-born as part of her shift, she finds herself being suddenly reassigned to a new patient after the new-born’s white supremacist father, Truck, insists Ruth can’t look after his son, Baby Davis, purely because of the colour of her skin.

She has her license suspended and is charged with a serious offence after Baby Davis goes into cardiac arrest and she has to make a decision to either disobey her orders or try and save a life. Her life is instantly turned upside down, having an impact on her 16-year-old son, Edison who goes from being at the top of his class in school to going off the rails and turning into a person his mother has worked hard to make sure he would not become.

Readers learn how and why Truck adopted his white supremacist views, his history and his emotions following the death of his son and how Kennedy McQuarrie, Ruth’s white public defender, is made to re-evaluate her own thoughts on racism and her journey in discovering how Ruth encounters discrimination on a daily basis.

International best-selling author, Jodi Picoult provides a similar writing style to her other award-winning books and offers viewpoints and voices from the three characters who couldn’t be furthest apart from each other, Kennedy, Truck and Ruth.

I felt both outraged, disappointed and a sense of disbelief at times reading this novel but despite my frustrations, it had a gripping storyline which left me not only fighting for Ruth’s justice but also feeling the emotional pain from a father who, despite his extremist beliefs, had just lost a new-born son.

This is another classic to add to Jodi Picoult’s bookshelf and maybe another potential blockbuster in the making?

Grab your own copy of Small Great Things and let us know what you think.

Happy reading booklovers!


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Photo Credits: John Lodder, Spencer Means