Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult

Small Great Things

By Jodi Picoult

  • Publication Date: 2016-10-11
  • Genre: Fiction & Literature
4.5 Score: 4.5 (From 1,274 Ratings)

Book Synopsis

#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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Latest User Reviews

  • By far the best

    By Hkate3
    Book I’ve read in a long long time
  • Great

    By Bunmom88
    I have never read one of her books I didn’t like but this one was fantastic. I couldn’t wait to get home at night to finish it. The characters and feelings in this story were powerful. Definitely worth reading, like all her other books.
  • Great Book!

    By Nicbro
    I enjoyed this book from beginning to end. I love the different perspectives of how race is expressed through each character. I would love to see this book as a movie!
  • Wow.

    By imjazed
    Picoult has answered many of the questions I have had but never knew who or how to ask. The answers come in a way that I have been able to internalize them. I feel shaken in many ways, and as soon as I finished, I started reading it over again because there was still so much I didn’t feel like I ‘heard’ well enough. The opening quote of Benjamin Franklin “Justice will not be served untill those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are.” Meant something completely different to me after the first reading. I read 7 - 10 books a week and have to say this is the first book this year that I have read twice, or written a review of.
  • It wasn’t bad...

    By JoeyWar[S.E.M.]
    This book kept me interested enough to finish it, so that’s worth 3 stars right there. However, Just about every character was unlikable and unbelievable, i found I really didn’t care about any of them. The story line was pretty far fetched and hard to believe.
  • Great read

    By Shawny #7
    Great read!
  • Spectacular

    By charalyson01
    Absolutely excellent! A must read for anyone and everyone. It will have you assessing your prospective on life for the better. This could not have come at a better time in society.
  • Small Great Things

    By smcris
    A great perspective on racism in our country.
  • Small Great Things

    By BEHust
    Not so small at all! What a wonderful story of determination, love, race, hate and accomplishment. One to be talked about for years to come!
  • Excellent Read that invokes deep emotions

    By ABQMB
    As a nurse of 34 years, this books grabbed me. The hate and the white supremacist embarrassed me as a white person. This book also opened my eyes and caused me to re-examine my beliefs, biases and caused a deeper understanding that I have by virtue of my skin color been privileged in ways I may never have understood before. Thank you!