Title: Small Great Things
Author: Jodi Picoult
Jodi Picoult is an author whose books I’ve grown up reading and each one has left an lasting impact. Her stories are thought-provoking and compelling, and Small Great Things was no different.
The way Small Great Things is written is both powerful and provocative. The story centers around racism, internal biases, and privilege. Picoult doesn’t tip-toe around these topics in an attempt to make readers feel less uncomfortable, instead she shines a blaring spotlight on them. It’s blatant, it’s in your face, and it’s incredibly important.
As a nurse, the fact that the story’s protagonist was a nurse on trial for possible medical neglect was intriguing and the biggest reason I picked up this story. And while there’s no way I would ever be able to completely find myself in Ruth’s shoes, there were aspects of her story that I could sympathize with. Getting thrown under the bus by the hospital in the face of a lawsuit, having your license suspended, needing to prove yourself in a court as a capable nurse; these are every nurses’ greatest fears and for Ruth, it was even worse know the color of skin was the reasoning behind many of the decisions made.
My biggest issue with the book was the ending. On the one hand, I appreciated what Picoult was attempting to accomplish by giving Turk that closure: in a perfect world, people would learn and grow from their racism. However, this isn’t a perfect world and I found it almost unbelievable to find a member of a white supremacist group have a change of heart in that matter. While I would love to believe that people are capable of that degree of change, in my experience it’s unlikely.
Small Great Things is another engaging, thought-provoking book by Jodi Picoult that will leaving a lasting impact on me and my actions. The book centers around the incredibly important and relevant topics of racism and privilege in our country in a page-turning story sure to keep readers on the edge of their seats.