Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult is a contemporary tale of racial injustice, hate and love. It is ordinary people just trying to do their jobs and making a difference in the world. “I’ll make the money… you make the difference.” I loved the book. I have yet to read a book by Jodi Picoult that I do not like. She always writes cracking stories, always with an unexpected ending that I never see coming, even though I know there will be some sort of twist!
Americans fought the civil rights battles in the 1950’s and 60’s but much to my sadness, the war still rages on today in some people’s heads. Jodi Picoult portrays this racial prejudice that haunts some sections of American society. “The only race that matters is the human race.” She shows the need to open one’s eyes to the racial injustices that still exist in this world. We are to spread the message of love not hate. The calm, professional attitude of the midwife is sharply contrasted with the hot headed white supremacists in the book. “Anger… is a renewable source of fuel.”
The novel is told in the third person from three different viewpoints. The reader can empathise with two of the voices but the third just made my blood boil. It reveals what an excellent writer Jodi Picoult is to get such a strong emotive reaction from her reader.
There is the theme of love. Love bonds are not easily broken and can motivate people to do both good and evil.
The theme of isolation is also present. Even God feels far away and one wonders if He is listening or even seeing what is happening. “God, please be listening.”
Small Great Things should not be a comfortable read. It should make you squirm. It will make you wonder about the world today but it will also give you hope. Hope that the next generation will open their eyes and finally see and will “treat them [people]… based on their individual merits as human beings, and not on their skin tone.”
A powerful read.
I received this book for free. A favourable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.