Being a highly sensitive person, I questioned for many chapters whether I could stay with this book through the end. I’m so glad I did.
The book is told from the view of three narrators, Ruth – an African American nurse, Turk – a white supremacist, and Kennedy – a public defender. After a couple chapters in Turk’s voice, I had to put the book down. It took me a whole year to think I was tough enough to pick it up again! I’m someone who has trouble sleeping at night after seeing or reading vivid images or thoughts. Fair warning, there is some harsh language, actions and thought processes to consume here.
My new strategy was to power read the book in one weekend so it wouldn’t affect so many of my nights. But after having read it, I know this book will have an effect on me for years, maybe even for life.
Picoult’s approach to writing on racism is eye-opening, but perhaps not in the way you might think. Through narrators that are both relatable and extreme, Picoult delivers a wake-up call to white Americans to recognize the privilege we likely take for granted every day of our lives. She delivers a call to action for everyone to start seeing racism and start talking about it. She delivers a challenge to start thinking about how racism is really played out from your end, even if (especially if) you wouldn’t call yourself racist.
This book, like many of Picoult’s, is one of those small great things that may lead to change, big or small. She’s bold and brave in her writing and takes a stand with her books.
I’d say Small Great Things is a must read for today’s society. And for readers who love a thought-provoking page-turner, you won’t be disappointed.
And it’s okay to skip some violent paragraphs. You’ll get the idea.