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Small Great Things – a book review [ Guestpost ]

Small Great Things got me interested in it owing to the Title. Don’t we often hear and made to believe that it’s the small things in life which count for greater and bigger happenings? Small Great Things meant this to me. So, I added a sample of the book to my amazon kindle account.

The sample piece or the first chapter introduces an African-American child, her family, and her mother who assists the lady for whom she works, in delivering a baby. The delivery affected the protagonist, Ruth, who saw it when she was still a child, so much she decided to become a labour-and-delivery nurse.

Reading the sample and the blurb I thought the story would revolve around Ruth, the hospital she works at, and some court scenes considering mention of an attorney in the blurb. But, I was totally unaware of what was stored in the book for me.

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The Plot

Ruth Jefferson is an African-American who works at the Connecticut hospital as a labour and delivery nurse with over twenty years’ of experience. That day Ruth switched shift with a colleague and took care of the newborn as any other baby, doing the routine check-up. But, the white supremacist parents of the newborn didn’t want an African-American taking care of their baby. So, they demanded that Ruth be replaced with a white nurse.

Despite giving twenty years of her service, Ruth’s supervisor complied with the parents’ demand without a question, and replaced Ruth. Ruth was outraged over the racial discrimination she faced.

However, turn of events led Ruth alone in the nursery with the baby the next day, who, in turn, goes into cardiac arrest. Ruth finds herself swaying between killing her conscience by not adhering to the nursing oath she took and not touching the baby as ordered, or attending to the baby and risking her job by ignoring the order from her supervisor.

Though, the hospital staff reaches within seconds and the baby is attended to, in spite of their best efforts the baby dies. What Ruth didn’t imagine was that she would be held responsible for the baby’s death and would be on trial for murder.

Ruth’s case is undertaken by Kennedy McQuarrie, a white public defender. To Ruth’s surprise, Kennedy advises her not to play the race card in the courtroom as it might backfire. What follows is a chain of events, court sessions, and the plight of an African-American in the country of white people.

The question is would Ruth, an African-American trust a white person, especially when she was behind bars because of one of them, and would Kennedy, from the white race, believe in one ‘of the colour’ when she has been taught to stay away from them since childhood?

Why should you read the book

I had just heard about racism, but never understood the depth and the scars it can leave on a person. Small Great Things brought me face to face with the reality, hitting me hard. I could never have imagined how black people face racism in America, the pathetic behaviour they face every day, the insult they bear every minute just for being of a different colour.

The author has portrayed the harsh reality of racism brilliantly, and there will be many times you will feel for the protagonist. The three main characters are beautifully linked through parenthood. How each of them discovers something within and something about the outside world is beautifully woven. And of course, you must read the book to know how it feels to be a black person in America.

About the Author

The American author, Jodi Picoult has till now penned 23 novels of which the last 8 novels scored a place in the New York Times bestseller list. Her first novel was Songs of the Humpback Whale written in 1992.

Other novels by her are Harvesting The Heart, Off The Page, Perfect Match, Picture Perfect, Plain Truth, Change of Heart, Wonder Woman, Between The Lines, and Sing You Home. Jodi Picoult has many accolades in her name including New England Bookseller Award, Book Browse Diamond Award, and Abraham Lincoln Illinois High School Book Award.


Howdy folks! This december starts with a bang on my blog as I run a unique bloghop with 28 bloggers to write guestposts for me and each other all this month. I hope my readers will catch all the action and support this drive with their comments and feedback to encourage the writing. To know more about this blog hop in detail, you could catch this post here.

About Rashi

book-review-guestpost-december-shalzmojo-bloghop-travelI’m a blogger, writer, book reviewer, and a Mom who believes in taking charge of life to change it, before someone else does.
I feel very strongly about women  empowerment and often my blog posts are related to the same. I also write book reviews which add positivity to one’s life.
When I created the blog it was with the hope to make people realise to stop running in life and live the moment( as the name- Live It Young). However, with time I have realised that blogging can be used to create awareness on a lot more issues. So, here I am looking forward to make a difference somewhere in someone’s life

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Passionate about everything design, I am in love with photography, travel and baking. My writing journey was initiated with my letter writing hobby as a child and has metamorphosised into serious blogging. I indulge with reading fantasy fiction, day dreaming and sipping good wine.

22 thoughts on “Small Great Things – a book review [ Guestpost ]

    1. Thanks much, Namratha. This book is a great read for a lot of reasons, which I let you to find when you read it 🙂

  1. I love Jodi’s books- the first one I read was “My Sister’s Keeper” and I was completely besotted. I read a few more “Picture Perfect” was another good one. They leave you in pain as they are not the happy sunshine kind of books but the pain is real- rather than make believe that most other authors leave you with. Thats why I come back to Jodi- the last I read was 1 day before I delivered my daughter. Not sure if I should have been reading a sad story about a little girl inflicted with a lifelong disease but once you get hold of Jodi’s books there is no stopping. Loved the blurb of this book and will pick it up someday

    1. This was my first pick from Jodi’s work and I completely agree with you, Akshata, she does take the reader deep into the story. If you’ve read her previous work, m sure you’d like this too 🙂

  2. I have read the book and completed the book literally in 4 days – I loved reading through the book this much 🙂 It gives a unique yet known perspective towards racism unaware to those not facing it. Wonderful review!

    1. Thanks much, Shibu. The portrayal of racism is done so brilliantly that I could visualize every written scene. Hence, this book made to one of my favs. 🙂

    1. You must, Shilpa. This is definitely a good read esp if one wants to get the real picture of racism many of us have only heard of. Thanks for reading 🙂

  3. This sounds interesting! Jodi is one of my favourite authors, but definitely I need to be in a strong state of mind to read any of her books – because they always move me, and give me way too much to think and feel!

    1. I agree Ishieta. I kept thinking about the female protagonist and racism for days after finishing the book. Jodi’s books do move you deeply. Thanks for reading 🙂

    1. Thanks so much, Shilpa 🙂 m really glad that my review helped you. Do share your review once you read this piece. 🙂

  4. That’s an interesting plot rashi! Thanks for the review. Reviews indeed help us a lot to choose a book to read. I always postpone on writing a review but guess i should make it a habit instead.

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