I’ve never been in love with how a story was written until Small Great Things.
My good friend, Lara, is a big fan of Jodi Picoult so when she posted a review of this book, it got me curious, for both the story and its author.
Small Great Things is about the nurse Ruth who is forbidden to touch the baby of a white couple just because she is a people of color. Then an emergency happens to the baby when Ruth is the only nurse around. She is torn between doing her job and keeping it. Things spiral downward, and Ruth faces charges. But her lawyer Kennedy insists on winning the case without ever talking about her skin color when it was the very reason it all started.
This book is such a page-turner, not because it contains action scenes, but an action in a different sense. The kind of action experienced in a day to day basis. There’s a lot to learn in this book such as how subtle yet distinct discrimination can be, how people are ignorant about it, how it usually happens. Then we get to know the other side, the Supremacists and how they view other people. But the most important side is Kennedy’s – or the people who know what discrimination is, yet fails to understand it fully. I can identify to herself in some ways, not because I’m white like her but because I didn’t really understand racial discrimination. I brushed it aside saying I’m not racist, but am I? What if I’m being racist without meaning to just like some of those jurors in the book.
On the flip side, being an Asian made me relate to Ruth, though my experience is far minor than what she experienced. After I read this, it makes me think that maybe my knowledge about racial awareness is shallow and this book opens my eyes to these things.
I marveled on how Jodi Picoult weaves words to make this world. But I also loved reading those legal terms and especially medical terms! It feels like this book and I found common ground, and speaks the same language.
The story itself is lovely, but the afterword is even more impressive. Hats off to Picoult for her intensive research and incredible insight. Be sure to read this book, cover-to-cover. I promise it is worth the read.
Small Great Things achieves what its title means with a little tool, it did plenty of stuff to see life in a different perspective.