Book Review – Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult


Wow!  Where do I start with this book.  It is such a gripping story from the start.  Some parts of the book when it describes one of the main characters being a white supremacist and the things he did growing up made me a little uncomfortable, I just didn’t like it much.

Reading this story has stirred up some old feelings that I have, being a person of colour myself.  The thing is growing up in South Africa and going through the apartheid era it’s hard not to ignore or feel the pinch a bit when you come across stories like this.  I’m sure my memories are nothing comparable to others going back generations that had to grow up in the system.

From memory I only remember once when I was in high school, my family and I went to a beach in a white suburb and after we were there for a little bit we were told to get off the beach as it was for white’s only and we were not allowed to swim there.  After much heated words were exchanged we left.  I’m sure our parents and their parents before have many more stories than I do.

But the thing is these little things stay with you, and throughout your life you always deep down wonder if things are said a certain way or you are treated differently because of your colour.  I mean when I apply for jobs I have so much self doubt because I always think my name doesn’t sound Indian and it’s like a disclaimer that I should put on my CV, that I am Indian, which I know is absolutely crazy, but I can’t help feel that way.

It was this that came across in the book as well, throughout life Ruth had to make adjustments or try and blend in.  Reading this book you get to walk in the shoes of a black person and see what’s its like to live under the scrutiny of others.

The court case that follow’s in the story, I felt I was sitting there in that courtroom watching it all unfold.  I alway’s find with Jodi Picoult’s books they pull on all your senses that you can’t stop reading, and you become this silent character in the story.  The strength of the main character Ruth is astounding and everything she believes in she stands for no matter what the consequences are.

It was a brilliant story and highly recommend it, but it’s not hard to recommend one of her books.

Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Ronell x

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