Thursday 31 August 2017

Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult

Let me preface this review by saying I still don't know how I feel about a white woman writing a (fictional) book about racism and white supremacy in the USA; while I think it's important to use your privilege in a way that opens peoples eyes to the horrors that occur right under our noses, it was jarring to read the N word over and over again knowing it was written by a white woman, and it left me feeling uncomfortable at times.

That being said, I love Jodi Picoult and will always read her books - this one was no exception, and after sitting on my shelf for so long I finally got around to reading it last week. I flew through it, honestly, in a way that I've not done with a book for so long. I truly couldn't put it down, and chose reading over Netflix for the first time in forever.

The story follows three people - Ruth, a black labour & delivery nurse; Turk, a white supremacist; and Kennedy, a lawyer. From start to finish the book makes you question everything, makes you second guess the characters and their decisions and even yourself. It's heavy in the best and worst ways, filled with life and death, anger and love, hatred and joy all in equal measures from every angle, every side.

Ultimately, it's about racism: about white supremacists putting their kid's life in danger because they don't want a black nurse touching him, and then it still ending up as being the black nurse's fault when something goes wrong even though she was just following orders. It spirals out of control and in the process of it being dealt with we learn about the law, about white supremacy, about what it's like to be black in America, about medicine and child birth and distancing yourself from who you are - whether that be the right or wrong decision.

I liked this book - it wasn't an easy read and it made me feel uncomfortable but in that sense, it did its job. I connected with the characters, whether it was because I hated them, admired them or sympathised with them, and for the most part I love Jodi Picoult's writing. The way she makes a story flow so seamlessly, come to life to spectacularly while still being completely accurate; it's just phenomenal.

Have you read Small Great Things? I think it's particularly relevant right now and I'd definitely recommend it. I lent my copy to Holly so sorry about the irrelevant pic in this post lol.

1 comment:

  1. Starting this as soon as I finish Chomsky :) Can't wait xx