Small Great Things is a book that has a lot to say about racism. A little too much emphasis, I thought. The book could have made the same point without overdoing it quite so much! That being said, it was a good read about a very touchy subject. A black nurse is being sued by a white supremacist because he believes she’s responsible for his newborn’s death.
Ruth Jefferson has been a labor and delivery nurse for 20 years and all of a sudden she is faced with the possibility of going to prison and never being a nurse again. She has tried to set an example for her son, Edison and she worries what will happen to him if she does go to prison. Ruth’s mother told her she was destined for small great things and up until this moment she has been.
Reading the sections that were from Turk’s (the white supremacist) point of view was a little difficult and unnerving. The way he talks about his deep hatred and treatment of blacks and gays really disgusted me. What’s really upsetting is the thought that there are actually people like him out there in the world. It made me angry, sad and uncomfortable at times, but I think that is what the author intended. The author was quoted saying “The things that make us most uncomfortable are the things that teach us what we all need to know.”
I used to be a huge Jodi Picoult fan, but over the years I find I enjoy her books less. This wasn’t the best or worst of her books. If you can get passed the sensitive subject matter, it turns out to be a good read.