Review – Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult

Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult
Published: October 11th 2016 by Ballantine Books
Genre: Fiction, Contemporary
Pages: 470

Small great things

As I stated while picking the book “Jodi Picoult is a master at coming up with “what if” -scenarios that trigger my curiosity. Unfortunately – it’s stopped there.

I just didn’t care. I read 50,100, 150 pages and I still didn’t care. I skimmed through the rest of the book just to see how it ended. It became that endless story my mother tells – the one that goes on and on and never gets to the point. I think that’s the problem, my curiosity isn’t layered, it’s just present enough to want to know what happens. If I didn’t have that I wouldn’t have finished it.

I used to think Jodi Picoult books were amazing when I was younger and that might be the clue right there. When I was younger. I have more experience now and I’ve grown to understand that life isn’t as simple as it seems. The lines between right and wrong isn’t always clear and the differences between us aren’t always something you can put your finger on or understand in any way. To make people into such crazy stereotypes doesn’t benefit anybody.

The portraits painted of Ruth, Turk and Kennedy were just too simple for me.

Ruth has been a delivery nurse for 20 years. She’s experienced and has been the perfect employee for all those years. She’s also extremely calm and accomplished, living with no inner anger with “light black skin”  in a white neighborhood. While her sister Adisa is the more “typical” black girl in a bad neighborhood with a bad attitude.(Come on, these caricatures are ridiculous and being racist towards Adisa is just as bad as being racist towards Ruth!)

Ruth is basically painted as a saint and here comes the bad nazi Turk to discriminate against her simply because of her skin!

Turk is an asshole. He’s a white supremacist. He doesn’t want Ruth to touch his newborn white nazi baby! Turk has a website that trolls the internet to annoy people and recruit the easily influenced people online.

When Turk’s baby goes into cardiac arrest, Ruth is the only person in the room. Should she disobey orders and touch the baby to save it’s life?

My trigger lied in the “will she or won’t she” – after that I got bored.

Ruth of course gets a white little lawyer named Kennedy and she’s all kinds of naive and refusing to address the fact that this is a race issue. (Passive racism).

My problem might lie in the fact that I am biracial and I have both sides roaring inside me and I know that neither one of those sides are black and white, it’s all grey, it’s all complicated. The characters weren’t complicated and deep enough for me. Ruth is a saint and Turk is the devil. That’s not reality.

I couldn’t believe these were real people. And of course I know they’re fiction and they’re not real people, but I would love it if the story still felt real. It just all felt fake to me and that isn’t interesting.

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2 thoughts on “Review – Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult

  1. I agree with your review. And in addition, the description of the Tea Party is ludicrous. Every organization has people on the fringes who have discordant views, but overall the Tea Party is made up of people, even blacks, who want a smaller government presence in their lives. There is no hidden agenda.

    The characters overall were so unbelievable as to be caricatures. Everything is not about race and there are so many types of discrimination in everyday life that if that was all you thought about, it would take over your life. I would tell all of the characters to get over themselves. But then there would be no book,

    There is a place for fiction on this subject, but why not be fair in presenting, as you said, the gray areas.

    Like

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