Book Review

Small Great Things – Jodi Picoult

book-review-spoiler-free

15th February to 6th March ~ Audio ~ Link to Goodreads

Small Great Things

Synopsis:

When a newborn baby dies after a routine hospital procedure, there is no doubt about who will be held responsible: the nurse who had been banned from looking after him by his father.
What the nurse, her lawyer and the father of the child cannot know is how this death will irrevocably change all of their lives, in ways both expected and not.
Small Great Things is about prejudice and power; it is about that which divides and unites us.
It is about opening your eyes.
‘It’s hard to exaggerate how well Picoult writes’ Financial Times

Review:

This book wasn’t even really on my radar if I’m honest, I used to really love Jodi Picoult’s books but they started to lack something and so I slowly stopped keeping up with her releases. However the lovely Cover2CoverMom reviewed this book (check it out here) and I was sold.

I already had a fair few books on the go so I decided to get the audio version of this one and I’m so glad I did. The narration was fantastic, the book is told from 3 points of view and each were really easy to recognise but also I think the voices helped really sell the passion and raw reality of the situation.

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Of the 3 characters I think Kennedy goes through the biggest transformation and really grows from the moment she meets Ruth to the end. She gives a closing speech towards the end of the book that really touched me and also really hit home. Ruth was also a brilliant character, I feel like she was very well researched and she really opened my eyes to things that I take for granted. For example something as mundane as going to the shop I take for granted that I go and I don’t get bothered by employees but Ruth had people following her and watching her and doing a “random” spot check of her bag when she goes. I loved Ruth’s passion for her job, how much she loved what she did and I also loved her view of the world and how it started to change throughout.

If I’m honest it made me feel uncomfortable but in a good way. I was uncomfortable because some of the example’s Ruth gives made me look at how I act or the things I say and really think about what I need to look at and change. I think this is a great thing because we should be made to look at how we all act and what we all say, it’s the only way we can learn to be better versions of ourselves!

I had my biggest issues with Turk, which is probably no surprise to anyone who has read the book. Even though he is a very extreme character in his actions and the extent of his hate it is becoming more and more evident that there are large groups of people with these views and opinions are out there and that they do act out. Even though Turk made me the most uncomfortable and even though I found him absolutely disgusting as a person I respect that he wasn’t just a soft version of an extremist. I think his POV needed to be told to show that these people are very real and do walk among us.

In terms of plot it was interesting and it pulled me through but the books focus is more on characters than plot. I was compelled throughout and I found myself listening a lot more frequently than I usually listen to audio-books this is because I was dying to know how this would wrap up and end. True to Picoult fashion there is a twist right at the end but because I’ve read so many of her books in the past I wasn’t so surprised over it, I think it added a little to the end but I don’t think much would’ve been lacking if it didn’t happen.

Overall: I’m so happy I gave this one a go! It’s compelling, full of emotion and feels just like an old Picoult book! If you’ve found some of her recent books a little lacking pick this one up if felt just as good as her older works!

Representation:

The main character Ruth is a woman of colour and at least one third of the book is told from her perspective and it includes conversations and scenes with her family (mother, sister & son). I found the differing opinions and personalities of Ruth and her family really interesting. I feel like points of view of the POC were handled really well, they each had their own opinions of how they are viewed and treated in society and I think they were all handled well. I will say  I didn’t like that this book uses the N-word quite a few times. I personally feel like the n-word should not be used at all but it should definitely not be used in a book that isn’t own-voices!

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Have you read Small Great Things?

Is this book on your radar/TBR?

Which Jodi Picoult books have you read and enjoyed?

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5 thoughts on “Small Great Things – Jodi Picoult

  1. This sounds like a wonderful, powerful read. I am curious about the twist at the end and the speech too. I plan on reading this book by the end of this month so I hope that I will get the chance to do so. Brilliant review.

    Jodi’s books that I have read are; My Sister’s Keeper, Nineteen Minutes and The Pact. They all made me cry at the end and yes, they all had the shocking kind of twists.Which books by Jodi have you read?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve read the ones you mentioned plus Change of Heart (my favourite) Lone Wolf , Leaving Time, Plain Truth, Handle with Care and Songs of a Humpback Whale. I went through a mammoth Picoult phase if you can’t tell 😂

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  2. Yay! I am so happy that you enjoyed this book. It sounds like you got just as much out of it as I did. This book really made me look at the world and how I view it through a middle-class white person’s eyes… and that because of this, I have been living in ignorance for so much of my life. I still think about this book often. Brilliant review Kirsty! Thank you so much for linking to my review as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree! I feel quite ignorant after reading it, I had never really thought a about all the things I take for granted as “easy” and it made me feel a little ashamed if I’m completely honest but I kind of think it’s a good think because it opened my eyes and the more uncomfortable I am made to feel when reading the more I’ll be able to change for the better! You’re more than welcome only seemed right since I wouldn’t have read it without your review!

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