Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult was an easy to read, all consuming novel.The story is set in modern day America and is told from the perspective of three main characters: Ruth, a black nurse, Turk, a white supremacist and Kennedy, a public defender. Ruth is on duty when Turk’s newborn son goes into distress and when the baby dies Ruth is to blame. Or is she? Ruth is arrested and accused of murder and Kennedy is her only hope at a defense. Kennedy is an over worked public defender who has never tried a murder case. Is Ruth truly responsible for the baby’s death? Will Kennedy be able to prove Ruth’s innocence? Will Turk let the black lawyer represent his case?
Jodi does an excellent job developing each of the three main characters along with some of the secondary characters. Jodi does a noteworthy job when she writes from Turk’s perspective. She does an excellent job making Turk human and flawed, yes he is a white supremacist but he is also a husband and a father. I was at the edge of my seat at several points and could not put the book down. I even started dreaming about the characters and predicting what would happen next.
I am thrilled this novel is becoming a movie on the big screen and not just in my mind. I think everyone will find each of the characters relatable. We all know people who are well intending but sometimes don’t get it. We know people who are “color blind” until something happens to them and we know people who judge a whole group of people not based on fact.
I only have two wants or wishes that would’ve made this book a 5 star. I wish Picoult would’ve written a chapter or two from Brit’s perspective at the end. I also wish the ending didn’t feel so rushed. I felt like the middle went on for quite some time and all of sudden we were at the end of the book and I would’ve loved more closure about some of the other characters. This book is a solid 4 out of 5 stars for me and definitely worth your time.
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