Troutbirder II

Troutbirder II
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Friday, April 2, 2021

Small great things


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 

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  1. Have you been watching the big trial in the cities? It could be a tough summer there:(

    1. No I haven't. I watched the murder take place on television and then called my son in Arizona to ask if he and his wife had been training my 14-year-old black grandson from Rwanda on how to respond to a policeman if he was pulled over for speeding as teenagers are wont to do. I think my brown granddaughter is likely to be safe but a future large black man needs to know to keep his hands on the wheel in plain sight at all times. So it goes in a nation with systemic racism and weight than who are confederates and attack our nations capital

  2. It is difficult subject matter of which we are all becoming more aware.

  3. Pretty timely. Sounds like a good book - one I will likely request from my library. :)

    Also, I've read and liked some of Picoult's other books as well.

    Thanks for reviewing this one!

  4. Yes, it is hard for a white wealthy person to write authentically about race. There are so many good Black authors who have written on this topic from personal experience. I have enjoyed some of her other books. She does like to tackle the issues and knows how to move a story.

  5. I haven't read her yet. Glad you liked the book. It's such a difficult topic and kudos to her for trying. She's braver than I am!


  6. I do like her but this one sounds too sad for me.

  7. I've read several books by this author, although not this one. I wonder if the author would still be willing to write this book now given the push in publishing to allow marginalized groups to tell their own stories. Small Great Things was/is being made into a movie featuring Viola David and Julia Roberts. I don't think it's been released yet? Thank you for reviewing!