Small Great Things Book Summary - Small Great Things Book explained in key points

Small Great Things summary

Jodi Picoult

Brief summary

Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult is a powerful novel that addresses race, privilege, and prejudice. It tells the story of a Black labor and delivery nurse who is accused of a crime while caring for the baby of white supremacists.

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    Small Great Things
    Summary of key ideas

    Exploring Racism and Prejudice

    In Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult, we are introduced to Ruth Jefferson, an African American labor and delivery nurse who has been working at a Connecticut hospital for over twenty years. Ruth is a dedicated and experienced nurse, but her life takes a drastic turn when she is asked not to touch a newborn baby by the white supremacist parents. Despite her seniority and expertise, Ruth is reassigned to another patient, and the baby dies under her care.

    As a result, Ruth is charged with a serious crime, and the story unfolds into a legal battle that explores the complexities of racism and prejudice. Kennedy McQuarrie, a white public defender, takes on Ruth's case. Kennedy, who initially believes she is not racist, begins to question her own biases and assumptions as she delves deeper into Ruth's life and experiences.

    The Legal Battle

    Throughout the legal battle, Picoult skillfully presents the perspectives of Ruth, Kennedy, and Turk Bauer, the baby's father. Turk is a white supremacist who is consumed by hatred and blames Ruth for his son's death. His character serves as a stark reminder of the destructive power of racism and the impact it has on individuals and society as a whole.

    As the trial progresses, Ruth's race becomes a central issue. Kennedy, who initially advised Ruth not to mention race in the courtroom, realizes the importance of addressing the racial dynamics at play. She argues that Ruth's actions were not motivated by race, but rather by her professional duty and the hospital's discriminatory policies.

    Confronting Uncomfortable Truths

    As the story unfolds, Small Great Things forces its readers to confront uncomfortable truths about systemic racism and the privileges that come with being white. Picoult's narrative is unflinching in its portrayal of racial tensions and the ways in which they manifest in everyday life, including within the justice system.

    Despite the heavy subject matter, the novel also offers moments of hope and human connection. Ruth forms a bond with Kennedy's young daughter, demonstrating that empathy and understanding can bridge racial divides. Kennedy, on the other hand, confronts her own biases and begins to understand the privileges she has taken for granted.

    Concluding Thoughts

    In conclusion, Small Great Things is a powerful exploration of race, privilege, and justice. It challenges its readers to examine their own beliefs and prejudices, and to recognize the small, everyday acts that perpetuate systemic racism. Through its compelling characters and thought-provoking narrative, the novel serves as a call to action, urging us to work towards a more just and equitable society.

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    What is Small Great Things about?

    Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult is a thought-provoking novel that delves into issues of race, privilege, and justice. It tells the story of Ruth, an African American labor and delivery nurse who is taken to court after a baby in her care dies. The book challenges readers to examine their own beliefs and biases, and raises important questions about equality and the complexities of the legal system.

    Small Great Things Review

    Small Great Things (2016) by Jodi Picoult is a thought-provoking novel that tackles issues of race, privilege, and justice. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • With its compelling characters and their complex moral dilemmas, this book forces us to question our own biases and confront uncomfortable truths.
    • Picoult's meticulous research shines through, providing a nuanced and accurate portrayal of racial tensions in contemporary society.
    • The story's gripping plotline keeps us engaged from start to finish, making it impossible to put down and ensuring that we're never bored.

    Who should read Small Great Things?

    • Readers who are interested in exploring race, privilege, and social justice
    • Individuals who enjoy thought-provoking and emotionally impactful storytelling
    • Those who are open to challenging their own perspectives and biases

    About the Author

    Jodi Picoult is a renowned American author known for her thought-provoking and emotionally charged novels. With a career spanning over two decades, Picoult has written numerous bestsellers, including My Sister's Keeper, The Pact, and Nineteen Minutes. Her books often tackle complex moral and ethical dilemmas, and she is celebrated for her ability to explore controversial topics with empathy and nuance. Picoult's compelling storytelling and powerful narratives have earned her a dedicated global fan base.

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    Small Great Things FAQs 

    What is the main message of Small Great Things?

    The main message of Small Great Things is confronting and overcoming racism in everyday life.

    How long does it take to read Small Great Things?

    The reading time for Small Great Things varies depending on the reader, but it typically takes several hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in about 15 minutes.

    Is Small Great Things a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Small Great Things is a thought-provoking and impactful book. It's definitely worth reading for its honest exploration of race and privilege.

    Who is the author of Small Great Things?

    Jodi Picoult is the author of Small Great Things.

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