SMALL GREAT THINGS BY JODI PICOULT
Ruth Jefferson is a labour and delivery nurse at a Connecticut hospital with more than twenty years' experience. During her shift, Ruth begins a routine checkup on a newborn, only to be told a few minutes later that she's been reassigned to another patient. The parents are white supremacists and don't want Ruth, who is African American, to touch their child. The hospital complies with their request, but the next day, the baby goes into cardiac distress while Ruth is alone in the nursery. Does she obey orders or does she intervene?
Ruth hesitates before performing CPR and, as a result, is charged with a serious crime. Kennedy McQuarrie, a white public defender, takes her case but gives unexpected advice: Kennedy insists that mentioning race in the courtroom is not a winning strategy. Conflicted by Kennedy's counsel, Ruth tries to keep life as normal as possible for her family—especially her teenage son—as the case becomes a media sensation. As the trial moves forward, Ruth and Kennedy must gain each other's trust, and come to see that what they've been taught their whole lives about others—and themselves—might be wrong.
This is a book everyone should read, especially with all that is happening around the world in the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd.
Not only is this a story of racism, inequality and prejudice, it also sheds a very clear light on the unfair advantage that white people have. This is an advantage that many don't even realise exists and take for granted. The book also brings us through the lack of understanding of real racism.
The privilege, or lack thereof, one has due to the colour of their skin is so well portrayed in this book and is one of Picoult's true masterpieces.
By far one of my favourite books of all time!
IN 3 WORDS/PHRASES:
“You say you don’t see colour…but that’s all you see. You’re so hyperaware of it, and of trying to look like you aren’t prejudiced, you can’t even understand that when you say race doesn’t matter all I hear is you dismissing what I’ve felt, what I’ve lived, what it’s like to be put down because of the colour of my skin.”
Ruth, another book where my favourite character is the protagonist. She is so passionate and takes us on a unique journey that will change our outlook on life, racism and equality.