Clothed with Grace: Small Great Things

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Small Great Things

Last week I finished Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult. I have been a long time fan of hers and this story did not disappoint. Here's what Amazon has to say about it:

"Ruth Jefferson is a labor and delivery nurse at a Connecticut hospital with more than twenty years’ experience. During her shift, Ruth begins a routine checkup on a newborn, only to be told a few minutes later that she’s been reassigned to another patient. The parents are white supremacists and don’t want Ruth, who is African American, to touch their child. The hospital complies with their request, but the next day, the baby goes into cardiac distress while Ruth is alone in the nursery. Does she obey orders or does she intervene?

Ruth hesitates before performing CPR and, as a result, is charged with a serious crime. Kennedy McQuarrie, a white public defender, takes her case but gives unexpected advice: Kennedy insists that mentioning race in the courtroom is not a winning strategy. Conflicted by Kennedy’s counsel, Ruth tries to keep life as normal as possible for her family—especially her teenage son—as the case becomes a media sensation. As the trial moves forward, Ruth and Kennedy must gain each other’s trust, and come to see that what they’ve been taught their whole lives about others—and themselves—might be wrong."

This story was not only compelling, it is a story that will stay with me. Because of the color of my skin I have not shared the same experiences as someone who is of color, and even though I thought I understood blatant racism, I think in many cases I was unaware of how aversive and institutional racism are interwoven into so much of our society.  In my opinion, this book should be next on your to-read list.

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