Summary: This stunning new novel is Jodi Picoult at her finest – complete with unflinching insights, richly layered characters, and a pause-resisting plot with a gripping moral dilemma at its heart.
Ruth Jefferson is a labor and delivery nurse at a Connecticut hospital with more than 20 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.
With incredible empathy, intelligence, and candor, Jodi Picoult tackles race, privilege, prejudice, justice, and compassion – and doesn’t offer easy answers. Small Great Things is a remarkable achievement from a writer at the top of her game…Read more.
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Jodi Picoult: Small Great Things Audio Book Summary
The fascinating main character is an African American widow named Ruth Jefferson, widow and mother of a teenage son, she is a nurse with more than twenty years of experience and a great sense of duty.
Serving at the Connecticut Hospital as a delivery nurse, a newborn arrives in her hands to perform the routine check-up, immediately realizes that the baby’s parents are watching her carefully and suspiciously, note that the father is A member of the Confederate states, would later learn that he is a white supremacist. Ruth’s boss tells her that she has been resigned and is not allowed to touch the newborn again.
The next day, the protagonist is alone in the nursery when the baby who was forbidden to attend, enters into a cardiac crisis, she is torn between the order that was given and the desire to attend the baby.
Jefferson’s actions will lead her to face severe consequences before the law. She is assigned a public defender named Kennedy McQuarrie
Something propositive and remarkable of the history, is that it not only narrates the perspective of who could be categorized like the victim; But also allows us to reach to glimpse the point of view of other characters involved.
Turk, is a white supremacist and the father of the baby that Ruth should not touch, with his participation as a narrator, allows us to know his life history, his education, the motivators to get involved with the movement and his relationship with his wife.
Turk is a character that bothers, not many people can identify with him, is a man full of hatred, who overwhelmed by the pain for the loss of his baby pours all his grudge on Ruth. Turk and his wife have reprehensible thoughts and commit violent acts. In contrast, he also has some moments of vulnerability and humanity with the pain of losing his son, the love story with his wife.
We can also identify the position of public defender Kennedy. She is the person who experiences greater personal growth. She is a Caucasian woman of 30 years married and has a small child, she thinks that racial matters are not something that affects her life, although she does not have any racial preference or discomfort before any race, she realizes that she has given many things for Seated and that it is time to generate new learning about reality, likewise, it is time to rethink the way you see others.
The work, narrated alternately by Ruth, Turk and Kennedy, is a story where themes such as racial discrimination, the desire for justice and tenacity can be seen. Racism, which is the main axis on which the plot revolves, is approached with great touch in a sensitive but also profound and passionate way.
It is interesting to read in the same way, the notes of Picoult that offer an explanation of what it meant for her to have done this work and why she did it.