- Audible Audio Edition
- Listening Length: 16 hours and 15 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Random House Audio
- Audible.com Release Date: October 11, 2016
- Language: English
- ASIN: B01JKDTTSQ
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
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Small Great Things: A Novel Audiobook – Unabridged
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Picoult notes, maybe too late, that she "[was] writing to my own community—white people—who can very easily point out a Neo-Nazi skinhead...but who can't recognize racism in themselves."
As a Black woman, part of me wrestled with what gave Picoult trhe right to contribute to our narrative? To tell our struggles? To tell the world what it feels like in Black skin to deal with overt racism to passing microagressions? I quickly let go of those questions because Picoult never does any of that. Every page, dripping with white guilt, is the perception of what someone thinks Black life is. The novel is rife with stereotypes, a dichotomy between Ruth and her sister of a "good Black" and a "Bad Black" that I'm not sure even Picoult understands. Basic cultural cues watered down until its lossed its meaning. It's all too much of a reminder that indeed, Picoult does not know what it feels like to be Black.
Funny, to me the only relatable character became the white supremacist. In his few chapters, you understand abandonment, loss, love, betrayal, anger and grief. Beyond race, gender and class you could understand his emotions, motivations and actions, albeit sometimes off character. But maybe that was Picoult's plan all along—to create sympathy for those unlike ourselves. But, even so, this well-intentioned book misses the mark.
There is the separate issue, for me, that I was unable to overlook. The description of unnecessary violence and hatred that literally stirs anxiety and hopelessness deep inside of me. We see this far too often in reality. I look to books for a thought provoking storyline that doesn't mimic very issue that make me feel helpless about our world today.
Very disappointed in the extreme left view point that was exploited in these pages. I consider myself an Independent middle of the road thinker, politically. I found the book to further separate the great divide that already exists in our nation.
Really badly researched. As a labor and delivery nurse myself, the whole hospital scenarios could be shot full of holes with inaccuracies!
The arrest of Ruth and the criminal system, really bad! Shoot those scenes full of holes. C'mon Piccoult, let Ruth change her nightgown, PLEASE!
You think the Aryian nation was rising again with the "fair, blonde, blue-eyed" Brittany. Well, why not, she is the white supremacist princess.
Awful stereotypes- Ruth's ghetto street smart black Panther-esque sister. Ruth's Mom-just a maid to them rich white folks. White supremacist Turk who just happens to have a gay father that he beats up after seeing him with another man....Won't even start with the stereotypical lawyer.
Very disappointing. Only a soapbox for the author and nothing left for the reader
This book is about Ruth, a widowed African-American nurse, who is also a single mom. She loves her job as a labor-delivery nurse in a small hospital. She worked there for 20 years and never had a problem until one day, when someone requested that she doesn't take care of their baby because of her race. This request eventually led to a series of events where Ruth finds herself questioning the system she has lived in all of her life, worked in and everything she believed in.
Kennedy is Ruth's lawyer, a public assistance lawyer who took on the case, determined to win the case for Ruth. As the case winds on, Kennedy finds herself questioning the status quo and realizes that not everything is as black and white as it may seem in the real world.
Turk, the white supremacist father, who was so aggrieved at the loss of his baby son needed a scapegoat for his rage and sorrow. He chose to file against Ruth, whom he thought murdered his baby. He shares his backstory; raised by a grandfather who was angry at the world; taught him self-defense. Turk then gets involved with different skinhead groups and met his wife at one of those rallies.
This novel is filled with backstories of each of the main characters. Sometimes, some of the stuff being said is uncomfortable, but it is definitely thought-provoking. If there is a time to be discussing race, now is the time to start. This book is a start for those who want to learn a little bit more about what it is like on both ends of the spectrum. Most people would consider themselves to be in the middle, until something happens and they find themselves on opposite ends of the issue. It is an eye-opener, even for the reader. Picoult weaves her way through this story delicately as well as making her points without beating someone on the head with the truth.
Out of all of her books, this one is my favorite. There is no unlikable character in this book. Just unpleasant truths that reveal the decades-long apathy with history and with the truth of how things really are in this country. I hope this book will start conversations among friends and in book clubs. It is definitely a thought-provoking book.