Small Great Things

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Score: 4.5 0 5
935 Ratings

Small Great Things Book Summary

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • With richly layered characters and a gripping moral dilemma that will lead readers to question everything they know about privilege, power, and race, Small Great Things is the stunning new page-turner from Jodi Picoult.


“[Picoult] offers a thought-provoking examination of racism in America today, both overt and subtle. Her many readers will find much to discuss in the pages of this topical, moving book.”—Booklist (starred review)

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.

Praise for Small Great Things

Small Great Things is the most important novel Jodi Picoult has ever written. . . . It will challenge her readers . . . [and] expand our cultural conversation about race and prejudice.”The Washington Post

“A novel that puts its finger on the very pulse of the nation that we live in today . . . a fantastic read from beginning to end, as can always be expected from Picoult, this novel maintains a steady, page-turning pace that makes it hard for readers to put down.”San Francisco Book Review

“A gripping courtroom drama . . . Given the current political climate it is quite prescient and worthwhile. . . . This is a writer who understands her characters inside and out.”—Roxane Gay, The New York Times Book Review

“I couldn’t put it down. Her best yet!”New York Times bestselling author Alice Hoffman

“A compelling, can’t-put-it-down drama with a trademark [Jodi] Picoult twist.”Good Housekeeping

“It’s Jodi Picoult, the prime provider of literary soul food. This riveting drama is sure to be supremely satisfying and a bravely thought-provoking tale on the dangers of prejudice.”Redbook

“Jodi Picoult is never afraid to take on hot topics, and in Small Great Things, she tackles race and discrimination in a way that will grab hold of you and refuse to let you go. . . . This page-turner is perfect for book clubs.”Popsugar

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Small Great Things - Jodi Picoult Reviews

  • Medically, legally and logically absurd

    By Kdimoney
    Do not even know if I can finish this novel. Though initially gripping, once it states baby died from hypoglycemic incident but then went on to say the black nurse was to blame and it was a hate crime - really? No matter how far you stretch, that's totally medically, legally and logically absurd. Jodi Picoult is becoming desperate for sensational reading. Anyone with even the tiniest bit of medical or legal knowledge, or common sense for that matter, will have trouble stomaching this novel.
  • Excellent Read

    By Arthursmom22
    This book had me captured from the first page to the last. I have always been a fan of Jodi Picoult but I think this is her best book to date. This book really did change how I look at racism. I can't recommend it enough.
  • Unbelievable characters

    By Freckles0309
    I forced myself to read maybe 1/4 of the book, then couldn't read any further. The characters have no dimension: either saintly or evil. While the plot could gave been riveting, the lack of believability ruined the book for me.
  • My favorite Jodi Piccoult book

    By MBD0807
    This was a fascinating, compelling read that truly makes one view the world around them differently. I am so happy I picked this book up.
  • Wow

    By AnnelizeB
    This is probably one of the best books I've read in a very long time. This is the real conversation.
  • Small Great Things

    By 47525374
    Thought provoking topic and a good story, makes for a good read.
  • Not my favorite

    By Ecsoftball44
    Jodi Picoult is my favorite author and I have loved each and every one of her books, with the exception of this one. I thought I would especially love this book because I am a nurse too. I wanted to like this book so much, hoping it would get better as if went on, but I was greatly disappointed.
  • One of her best

    By Kathy Salmanson
    I was riveted from beginning to end!
  • A great read

    By ZChickie
    This was an excellent book. I couldn't put it down. Very thought provoking. A must read!!
  • Wow

    By Olu Ayekoti
    Great book to read. Stunning.

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