A blog about travel, books and navigating your twenties in one piece

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Recently I'm Reading // Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult

The first book I ever read by Jodi Picoult was Nineteen Minutes. Nineteen Minutes is about a school shooting and it remains one of the most incredible books I've ever read. Since then I've read ten more books by Jodi Picoult and, most recently, Small Great Things, which is published in the UK today. What I've learnt in reading books by Jodi Picoult which discuss issues from rape to cancer to sexuality and more is that she is not someone who is afraid to shy away from talking about sensitive subjects. More than that, I don't think I've ever come across an author of fiction who researches more into their books than her. The effort she puts in to ensure that whatever she's writing about is as accurately portrayed as it can be shines through her every story and she will always be a huge inspiration to me. So, having read a number of her books, I need you to trust me when I tell you that you must pick up Small Great Things if you can.

Small Great Things is about an African-American midwife called Ruth. The blurb is as follows:

"When a newborn baby dies after a routine hospital procedure, there is no doubt about who will be held responsible: the nurse who had been banned from looking after him by his father.

What the nurse, her lawyer and the father of the child cannot know is how this death will irrevocably change all of their lives, in ways both expected and not.

Small Great Things is about prejudice and power; it is about that which divides and unites us.

It is about opening your eyes."

I was lucky enough to be given a proof copy of this book when I was on a work placement at Hodder & Stoughton and I am so grateful to have been able to read it. It's the best book that I've read this year.

This book addresses modern day racism and race relations in a way that I have not encountered before. It is clever and brilliant and utterly harrowing to see for yourself in the form of this story the way in which we still have so far to go when it comes to racial discrimination and prejudice. My words won't do justice to this story so I'm going to keep this post brief but all I can say is that this book has never been more needed, especially now that Donald Trump has been elected as the next President of the United States.

If you don't think that a white woman can write from the perspective of an African-American, I implore you to pick this up and see for yourself. If nothing else, read Picoult's beautiful author's note in Small Great Things and you will see how important it was that she write this book as a white woman because it is us as white people who need to address the prejudice that remains prevalent in our societies.

Real Reader Review have called Small Great Things "To Kill a Mockingbird for the 21st Century" and I don't think I could sum it up better myself. This is an amazing book that will give every single one of us who picks it up an education.

You can order Small Great Things here. And a quick thank you to the lovely Ellie for taking the photo in this blog post!

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