Tag Archives: Jodi Picoult

Book Review: “Small Great Things” by Jodi Picoult

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Title:  Small Great Things

Author:  Jodi Picoult

Synopsis (from bn.com):

Ruth Jefferson is a labor and delivery nurse at a Connecticut hospital with more than twenty years’ experience. During her shift, Ruth begins a routine checkup on a newborn, only to be told a few minutes later that she’s been reassigned to another patient. The parents are white supremacists and don’t want Ruth, who is African American, to touch their child. The hospital complies with their request, but the next day, the baby goes into cardiac distress while Ruth is alone in the nursery. Does she obey orders or does she intervene?

Ruth hesitates before performing CPR and, as a result, is charged with a serious crime. Kennedy McQuarrie, a white public defender, takes her case but gives unexpected advice: Kennedy insists that mentioning race in the courtroom is not a winning strategy. Conflicted by Kennedy’s counsel, Ruth tries to keep life as normal as possible for her family—especially her teenage son—as the case becomes a media sensation. As the trial moves forward, Ruth and Kennedy must gain each other’s trust, and come to see that what they’ve been taught their whole lives about others—and themselves—might be wrong.

With incredible empathy, intelligence, and candor, Jodi Picoult tackles race, privilege, prejudice, justice, and compassion—and doesn’t offer easy answers. Small Great Things is a remarkable achievement from a writer at the top of her game.

 

My thoughts:  My ladies book club wanted to start getting more back to books (I know that sounds odd doesn’t it, but we all know how those ladies book clubs turn more into dinner and wonderful conversation and not about books . . .but anyway I digress), so this is what they chose.

I had mixed feelings at first as I have a love/hate relationship with Jodi Picoult’s books but I jumped right in with excitement.

I would love to say I absolutely loved the book as most reviews I have written say, however all I can say is that my love/hate relationship with this author continues.

First off, I think reading this particular book right now in the current political climate was just bad timing for me.  I’m burned out on social media posts, negativity, fighting, and all such things and this book about racial tensions didn’t help.

Overall the book was a very fast read, the story was intriguing and of course made you think and stretch your mind throughout which is of course paramount for a Picoult book.

On the more negative side, I must say being a healthcare worker I found much of the premise of the story a bit unbelievable and kept saying to myself – “first off this wouldn’t happen”.

One of my major issues with Picoult’s writing is that in my humble opinion she always attempts to touch on every single hot social issue in one book and it always seems quite a bit biased and stereotypical to me.  This book was very much the same – the characters were overly stereotyped I thought.

To top things off I found the ending absolutely ridiculous!  Talk about typing things up in one chapter in a nice, pretty, unbelievable bow.  Not good for me!

Overall a fast read that of course makes you think – but overly stereotyped characters and an ending that just made me scratch my head.

And remember,

Books are Life,

Heather

 

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An Afternoon with Jodi Picoult – “The Storyteller”

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I happen to be lucky enough to live in a part of Illinois where Jodi Picoult always seems to schedule a signing in spring every year!  Fabulous!  This year’s book tour/signing of course was about her new book “The Storyteller”.

To be honest with you, I had never read a Jodi Picoult book until a few years ago with the release of her novel “Sing You Home”.   The main character in that book is a music therapist and as a board certified music therapist (MT-BC) (always educating and advocating for quality music therapy), I wanted to give the book a try.  I was very hesitant and put off reading it for a long time as I was scared at how music therapy would be portrayed.  It is still a very misunderstood profession and people have many ideas in their head (often incorrect) about what the profession entails.  Well I finally jumped into the book and was very pleasantly surprised!  Jodi clearly did her research and portrayed being a music therapist in a very accurate, professional way.  I  now say I will be a fan for life given her realistic portrayal of my profession!!

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When I read reviews about Jodi Picoult’s books, there really seems to be either a love or hate relationship with them.  It seems that people love them or have real problems with them.  I haven’t read quite enough at this point to jump on that bandwagon, however I can say that what I love about them is that they make you think.  At times they make you uncomfortable, they challenge your beliefs, they make you ask questions, they play with your emotions, they make you ask “What if?”, they make you hate the author and then love the author, and they deal with difficult issues!  At times isn’t that what books and reading should do?

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At this year’s event Jodi read a passage of “The Storyteller” for the audience.  From the small portion she shared, this is definitely not a book that is for the faint of heart simply because of it’s topic – the Holocaust!  Just sitting in the audience listening to this passage, I found myself effected emotionally by the profound themes of the book.  I’m excited, yet wary of jumping into this novel because of the emotions that I am sure will arise.

 

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Thank you for coming to the Chicagoland area every year Jodi!  See you next year!

And remember,

Books Are Life,

Heather

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