Jodi Picoult small great things
one of my favorite all-time authors
Jodi often describes human interrelationships involving difficult moral choices. Like any good mystery they are usually resolved at the end. This novel was published in 2016 and most of the events in the story actually reflected the headlines of 2020 practically word for word. It was all there and I found that stunning to say the least. Race police violence privilege, prejudice justice, amazing.
At the start of her writing career Jodi had decided she wanted to write a novel about racism in America and then realized that she as a white woman was not in a position to accurately understand and portray what it meant to be black living under the effects of the systemic racism. The years that followed saw her learning in every way possible how it all worked. Some critics say that in effect should she overdid some of her descriptions into new stereotypes and exaggerations. I think to a small degree that was true especially in the conclusions at the end. Still I think it was very very well done.
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 is been reassigned to another patient the parents are white supremacists and don’t want Ruth who is African-American 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 briefly before performing CPR. The baby dies and Ruth is charged with murder. 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 Ruth tries to keep life as normal as possible for her family especially her teenage son is 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.br