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Small Great Things: A Novel Audible – Unabridged

4.6 out of 5 stars 3,366 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • 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
  • Whispersync for Voice: Ready
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B01JKDTTSQ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank:

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Gripping. Powerful. A story that needs to be told. From two different perspectives. One that is almost unbearable to read. Actually, both are very difficult to read, but in different ways. One character's life makes you think not only of her outlook but forces you to truly take an introspective look. From another's viewpoint as well as how you look at the world. While you are reading it, it is hard to imagine that it was written by a white, female author. Jodi Picoult’s SMALL GREAT THINGS. This book is so riveting as it strikes a chord. Given the state of race relations in our country, the story is all the more haunting. To say that the issue of racial inequality has actually taken a turn for the worse, would be an understatement. The disparity in everyday life. I found myself doubting things that I have said, whom I may have inadvertently hurt or offended with no malicious intent. Reading this book made me sick to my stomach. But, I read on. It is important. Picoult is trying to get a message across. Please don't misunderstand, I was enthralled by the book. The story is passionate, intense, and portrays a deep struggle, which you want to read.

I imagine some people will be doubters. How could the author possibly understand this situation, even if she is writing fiction. I have read interviews about the depth of research that she put into this book. She is not claiming to be an expert. She based it on a true story. The title comes from a line in a famous speech of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s: If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way.”

The story is about a nurse, no ordinary nurse, but one who is dedicated and well regarded, with a twenty-year career at the hospital where ‘the incident’ occurs. A husband and wife have just had their first baby.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Since I have read every single one of Jodi Picoult's books, I knew that I had to read this one when it was up for review on the Vine program. Some would say that they find Picoult predictable especially after reading so many of her books. I have learned to stop second-guessing what Picoult is going to put to paper because she will always surprise you. Was I surprised in this book? Not really, because I knew she would have a twist or three up her sleeves. It just wasn't surprising to me but it may be to other readers. (I read a lot and I read a wide variety of books, so it takes a lot to surprise me.)

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.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As a "successful middle-class" African-American woman I was truly stunned to recognize so many aspects of my own life in Ruth. I have read every Picoult book - some twice - but never have I had my own experiences articulated so effectively by someone who isn't a person of color. I finished it yesterday morning and was rattled all day by the insights and depth of honesty revealed here. I still am, but had to take a moment to post everywhere and say THANK YOU!! Jodi, I read your acknowledgments of how you created this book, and I wish I could meet you. I am awed and will recommend this book to anyone I know: starting with my husband. Blessings to you for your courage, research and determination to see beyond what you knew, what was comfortable - and take this risk.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Ruth Jefferson is an African-American widowed mom who has done her job as a labor and delivery nurse at a Connecticut hospital without incident for twenty years and has the respect/friendship of her colleagues, or so she has always assumed. Well-aware of the sacrifices her mother (who still works as a domestic for the family whom she did in her daughters' childhood) made for her education, Ruth has never questioned a system in which she must suppress certain parts of herself to be acceptable to others and to excel. But when what she considers a clearly racially-motivated incident (though colleagues insist otherwise) with an infant's parents causes her to be removed from his care and later have her license suspended, she begins to reevaluate the rules she has lived by her whole life. During her ordeal, she meets public assistance lawyer Kennedy McQuarrie who, after insisting that she does not "see" color, takes her case. As they prepare for Ruth's trial, both women will re-examine their past and their present and discover that things aren't as black and white as they've always seemed.

Alternating with Ruth's and Kennedy's narrative is that of Turk Bauer's, the white supremacist father who is outraged at losing his son and determined to find a scapegoat. Raised by a grandfather who taught him survival tips from an early age, he and his wife, Brittany, the daughter of their movement's leader, are willing to do whatever it takes to secure justice. However, as Kennedy probes further into their son's medical records, she uncovers evidence that a number of factors could have contributed to the tragedy. In other words, there will be twists - but if you're familiar with the author, you may be able to guess them correctly in advance.
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