Small Great Things

Jodi Picoult. Ballantine, $28.99 (480p) ISBN 978-0-345-54495-7
Bestselling author Picoult’s latest page-turner is inspired by a Flint, Mich., event in which a white supremacist father refused to allow an experienced African-American labor and delivery nurse to touch his newborn. In Picoult’s story, a medical crisis results in an infant’s death and a murder charge against a black nurse named Ruth Jefferson. The story unfolds from three viewpoints: Ruth’s, the infant’s father—a skinhead named Turk—and Ruth’s public defender, Kennedy McQuarrie, a white professional woman questioning her own views about racism. The author’s comprehensive research brings veracity to Ruth’s story as a professional black woman trying to fit into white society, to Turk’s inducement into the white-power movement, and to Kennedy’s soul-searching about what it’s like to be black in America. Unfortunately, the author undermines this richly drawn and compelling story with a manipulative final plot twist as well as a Pollyannaish ending. Some may be put off by the moralistic undertone of Picoult’s tale, while others will appreciate the inspiration it provides for a much-needed conversation about race and prejudice in America. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/29/2016
Release date: 10/11/2016
Hardcover - 480 pages - 978-0-345-81338-1
Compact Disc - 978-0-7352-1017-2
Compact Disc - 978-0-7352-1019-6
Hardcover - 978-1-4104-6374-6
Ebook - 978-0-345-54496-4
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