Oct 11, 2016

Book Review: Small Great Things

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.

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I tend to read to escape.  I love to be taken away to another world, another time or another reality.  So I don't tend to read a lot of novels that cause me to stop and think about myself and my world view.  I am really glad that I decided to take the leap and request this book for review.

I am old enough to remember the in your face racism.  I even endured it when I dated a gentleman of a different race down in the South back in the 80s.   I have been lucky enough to live in the Pacific Northwest for several years and didn't realize the extent to which it still exists.  

But then I am white.  I have never had to worry about whether the color of my skin would cause me to be passed over for a promotion.  When I turn on the television, a good majority of the actors are going to be the same race as I am.  I have friends that are black but I never really sat down and thought about how different their lives from mine today.  

SMALL GREAT THINGS is one of the best books I have read ever and I recommend it to any and all of my readers.  It will pose questions that really deserve to be answered if all of us are going to have equity in our country.  

*** I received this book at no charge from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.  All opinions expressed within are my own.


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