Sometimes the things we need are not the things we want or enjoy.
Life is full of things that are not pleasant but necessary; immunizations, taxes, cleaning to name a few. We subject ourselves to those things because in the end they bring us a benefit. So it is with Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult. This is a book that will make you uncomfortable and angry and sad and encouraged and discouraged and … you get the idea. But considering the state of racial issues in our country today it is a timely story. We all need to be willing to reexamine our beliefs and perspectives if we have any hope of conditions improving. Picoult will cause you to contemplate with every turn of the page.
With the great style Picoult is known for, Small Great Things weaves together the stories of Ruth, Kennedy, and Turk as told from their points of view. These characters are rich and real and Jodi’s story telling is enthralling. Her bias is negligible as she allows her characters to share their experiences and perspectives. These things together make it a great piece of writing.
Also this was really a bad time for me to read this type of book as this is not a book to read when you are under pressure to get a job done. I was already stressing and this story made my blood pressure go up even more. I hate racism and the general mistreatment of people so I couldn’t just read it and unwind. I suppose that is good considering Jodi’s intent for writing this story was to provoke a response concerning the issue of race. But, to be honest, I much prefer my books to help me escape reality, even for a few minutes, than to slam me in the face and punch me in the mouth with the cold, hard facts of life.
I do suggest you read Small Great Things. Just make sure it’s the right time and you are in the right mindset. Also, you need time to chew on the issues to be able to get the most out of the book. Be willing to reexamine your thinking and actions regarding race and hopefully we will all be rewarded with a better understanding and acceptance of each other.