Jodi Picoult. Everybody loves her. I’ve read other books by her and while she knows how to make me turn the pages, I never truly loved her as a writer. But this book may have turned me.
Small Great Things wades into the murky, shark-infested waters of race in America. Picoult has created a story with heart and characters so real, I’m looking for them on the street when I go out each day. The black woman who lives in a white world, the white supremacist, and the white woman who thinks she’s color-blind.
She was brave enough to write from very different racial perspectives, and to honestly “go there” on every side. The secondary characters were equally insightful: a black maid in a wealthy white household, an elderly white women raised by a black maid, a black woman who flaunts her black culture, and so many others.
The theme of justice is sobering. We all crave justice. We want every judge to be just. Every law to be just. We want every person to treat others as they would wish others would treat them. But that’s not the world we live in, and one person cannot change the entire world in five minutes. But the hopeful message of this book reminds us of Martin Luther King Jr’s quote: “If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way.”
The plot in itself is fascinating, but I find myself going back to these larger than life characters with deep hurts and raw emotions and real-life-like situations they must find a way to face. The choices and actions and reactions ring so true. I want to walk among these people she has created, rubbing shoulders, and choosing love over hate.
I want to see healing in my world as a result of this brave book. 4 stars.