Small Great Things takes place in present day New York City and New Haven, Connecticut. The story is told from three different points-of-view. Turk Bauer is excited to be having his first child with his wife, Brittany. They welcome their son Davis into the world at Mercy-West New Haven Hospital. All seems to be going well until a nurse who is a person of color is assigned to care for their son. Why is this a problem? Turk and Brittany are leaders of the Movement, a White Supremacist group.
Ruth Jefferson has been a Labor and Delivery nurse for over two decades and she is very good at her job. She forges connections with each of her patients, allowing her to help them feel as comfortable as possible in her care. This changes when she’s assigned to care for Davis Bauer. Turk Bauer speaks with Ruth’s supervisor and has her banned from even touching the baby simply because of the color of her skin. An unfortunate turn of events lead to the death of a newborn and Ruth is charged with murder and involuntary manslaughter.
Kennedy McQuarrie is the public defender assigned to Ruth’s case. What begins as one mother trying to help another turns into so much more. Kennedy fights to provide doubt into the courtroom while fighting to understand even a fraction of what Ruth goes through on a daily basis. The story is not a fairy tale. It’s realistic enough to be true in our hateful and prejudiced society.
From the very beginning, Small Great Things gracefully shines a spotlight on the elephant in the room. The book drew me in and helped me understand, even if only a little. I strongly dislike that the negativity and harshness ring so very true because I would like to believe it is just another work of fiction. But that’s why they call it an elephant, isn’t it? I will say I did not like being in Turk Bauer’s head during the chapters written from his point-of-view simply because that level of hatred was hurtful to me. However, I do understand that these chapters were essential to the story. I believe the books we read change us and stay with us, sometimes for a short while and others for life. I get the feeling this book will stay with me for a long time.
Overall, I rate Small Great Things 5 out of 5 bookworms.
Don’t just take my word for it. Preorder Small Great Things from Amazon US to receive it when it is published on 11 October 2016 or Amazon UK to receive it when it is published on 22 November 2016 and enjoy it for yourself!
For more information about Jodi Picoult and her work, visit her website.
I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for this honest review.
Edit: I felt like it was necessary to change the rating from 4 bookworms to 5. This had nothing to do with the author or publisher having given me a proof to read. I have recommended this book to more people this year than any other book ever. I recommend this book to everyone, whether I know them or not. I recommend it to you. Have you read it yet? You should.