So we all saw that video, right? The one about us “not needing diversity in literature”? Well, from that a bunch of lovely girls on Booktube started a readathon called ‘#Diverseathon’ in which, you simply had to pick up a book with a diverse cast of characters or centred around a diverse theme/topic and Jodi Picoult’s new book, ‘Small Great Things’ was the perfect fit.
It’s a whirlwind of emotions focused around Ruth, an African-American nurse who finds herself in the unthinkable situation. A newborn’s white supremacist father doesn’t want his baby treated by “someone like Ruth”. The baby is in distress and a moment of hesitation from Ruth has catastrophic consequences.
There were several moments in the book where I just sat with a steady stream of tears running down my face. It made me question everything I thought about race and prejudice. It’s so easy to assume the book is set a few decades ago but then a character will mention something like “Obamacare” and it will hit you like a punch in the stomach that no, it is in fact set in present day. “Slavery isn’t Black history,” I point out. It’s everyone’s history.”
The book is from various perspectives giving you a well-rounded view of all the action and you will feel sympathy for characters you never thought you would. This speaks volumes of Picoult’s impeccable writing style and skill. It also makes for a quick, engaging read as you jump from person to person in intense scenes.
One aspect that really hit home for me was Ruth’s attitude to her work. My mum was a midwife/nurse for many years and this aspect of the book had clearly had a considerable amount of attention paid to it. “I have spent twenty-three years seeing how beautiful women are-not because of how they look, but because of what their bodies can withstand.”
The book comes out mid-October and I have no hesitation in saying that you need to pick this book up. It’s so gripping, tense, emotional and when I wasn’t reading the book, I was thinking about it. You well keep second guessing the ending until it happens and you won’t want the book to end.
It’s so important to read diversely any time and this book is a great way to bring that onto your TBR. The book comes out mid October. It will make you question all your morals and a book hasn’t done that for me since Huxley’s ‘Brave New World’. ‘Small Great Things’ has also been described as ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ for the 21st century.
Pick it up, you won’t regret it. A resounding 5/5 stars.
“You’re destined to do small great things.”
Thank you Net Galley for my review copy.
Thank you lovelies and happy reading! xo