Small Great Things By Jodi Picoult

Book cover for 'Small great things' by Jodi Picoult

The title comes from a saying attributed to Dr Martin Luther King. “If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way”

Jodi Picoult takes a controversial theme and then weaves incredibly good storytelling around it.

I have read the majority of her novels and not once have I been disappointed.

The story centres on three main characters. Ruth, a black labour and delivery nurse; Turk, an angry white supremacist whose baby is born and dies in Ruth’s hospital; and Kennedy, a white public defender who represents Ruth during her ensuing trial for murder. The baby’s death changes their lives irrevocably in this story of death, responsibility, hate, prejudice and racism.

 Ms Picoult had wanted to write about racism for many years. When a news story caught her eye about an African American nurse, who was asked not to touch a white supremacists baby, it set her thinking and she began to write her novel.

It is a disturbing yet compelling read.