Jodi Picoult has written some of the most powerful and memorable books that I have read. "My Sister's Keeper" and "The Pact" to name a few, but I have not missed many. Her new book, "small great things" falls in as another one of my favorites. It leaves you with a good feeling which I like in my endings, but along the way you will wonder what is going to happen to these characters.
This is definitely an American story with White Supremacists, racism and our American history present in every word. This is also a universal story in the way it handles the delicate effects of race on our society. This is not a knock-you-on-the-head type of story, it will sneak up on you before you know it. You will be invested and reading away to find out what happens to Ruth Jefferson. Don't you like the play on names with this character? She is a labor and delivery nurse with a 20-year history of experience under her belt. She intersects with a couple who gave birth to their baby boy the night before. What she doesn't know if that the baby is sick and that the couple are White supremacists.
This story take off after this introduction at a breakneck speed toward a collision between them all. We can walk in Ruth's shoes but we will also walk in the father's shoes. We will see how he grew up and how he got to become the person he is today. Turk and Brit are the parents of this sick infant who passed away on Ruth's shift. The way Jodi Picoult brings these characters powerfully to life will put you in their shoes in a way that you don't get to do very often. We also meet the public defender who takes Ruth's case on and realizes she doesn't look at the world the same way Ruth does.
Kennedy McQuarrie is drawn into the desperate situation facing Ruth and her son, Edison. She realizes that this case will have a long range effect of her life and her career. But she doesn't realize that it will be in ways she did not foresee. Jodi Picoult has a unique and special way of presenting a story without preaching, just presenting one character's perspective and the other. You get to live in each character's mind as the book advances and it is eye-opening. This book receives 5 stars in my book.