Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult

Wow! I really enjoyed this book. The title Small Great Things comes from Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King’s infamous quote, “If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way.” I only realized this after reading the Authors notes. This book, like most of Jodi Picoult’s novels was a page turner. It did take me longer than I would have liked, but that was only because I was so busy & didn’t have time to read it daily.

Small Great Things is a story that at times made me feel uncomfortable. It takes on discrimination & racism in America today. Jodi Picoult dives deep into each of the characters and it really made me think. I didn’t think I was one to stereotype, but realized I do. It’s made me very aware of my actions and the actions of others. It was eye opening and I am grateful I read this.


Ruth Jefferson is a labor & delivery nurse that has worked in the same hospital for 20 years. She is having a regular work day & doing a routine checkup on a newborn. Shortly after that her boss tells her the baby was assigned to another nurse. The babies parents, the Bauer’s, are white supremacists. They don’t want Ruth or any other staff member who is black to touch their child. Ruth is the only black staff member in this department so takes it personally. The following day, the staff got overloaded. Ruth found herself being the only nurse present when this baby went into cardiac distress. Ruth hesitated, she given orders by her boss not to touch the baby. Thinking of her Nurse’s oath she started CPR. This wasn’t enough, this ended in tragedy. Ruth found herself being accused of murder. There was a white female public defender assigned to her case. The public defender tells Ruth she can’t bring racism into Civil court. The two women end up having a relationship where they both learn so much about one another and each other’s race. While going through this, Ruth tries to continue being the positive role model for her teenage son.

Like all of Picoult’s books you also see the Bauer’s story. Honestly, I despised them when reading their stories. I was appalled that people think this way in this day & age. Then, in true Picoult fashion, she takes a little turn where you feel for the character for a minute. I still felt shock that some people feel so much hatred towards others because of their race alone.

There are twists and turns that keep you turning the pages. My overview doesn’t go into much detail because I don’t want to give anything away, but I highly suggest buying this book or borrowing it from a friend or the library. It was part of my book club, which I unfortunately missed the meeting. A few other ladies didn’t make the meeting and want to meet to discuss so I will update this when/if that happens. I am sure everyone had different opinions of this book and how they related to characters.

Happy reading!!! xx

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