You’re destined to do small great things,” she told me, “Just like Dr. King said.” She was referring to one of her favorite quotes: If I cannot do great things, I can do small things, I can do small things in a great way…when you say race doesn’t matter, all I hear is you dismissing what I’ve felt, what I’ve lived, what it’s like to be put down because of the color of my skin.. We can’t talk about race, because we do not speak a common language.
Get ready to talk about race. Get ready to feel the pain of race. The power struggle of superiority and how we bring others down. There are two types of racism – one is the flat out hate of the White supremacist and then there is the racism of you and me. The passive. When a black couple moves next door, do you tell your spouse that a black couple as moved next door vs. when a white couple moves in next door with two kids. How do you describe? This book challenges you. We like to believe that we are not racist but any time there is a power struggle, we put up fences and defenses. I had a co-worker that described to me that you take a white trash woman and a black trash woman and the black will come out smelling like a rose because black women have a confidence that this white woman knows nothing about. So why do I bring this up, because Picoult gives her characters confidence with vulnerability.
You are introduced to Ruth, a nurse that loves bringing new life into this crazy world. You instantly like her because of what she stands for. It is true, when you are pregnant you fall in love with your doctors and nurses that take care of you and your child.
You are brought into her typical day in a busy hospital delivering babies. One this particular day a couple demands that because she is black, she cannot touch their baby. This is when you realize that Ruth is a black nurse and the couple are white supremacist. Ruth is told by her head nurse the couples wishes. She is hurt and angry because she knows she is a good nurse. When the baby suffers a medical emergency and dies, the couple puts the blame on her and she is eventually charged with murder.
Picoult delivers in many ways…character driven with a compelling plot that speaks to our world right now. Ruth who is determined, confident and vulnerable, a single mother who desires for her son to live up to his potential. Turk The white supremacist who loves fiercely as much as he hates. But who does he really hate? Why did he became a white supremacist. Kennedy a public defender who in her white world discovers how racist she really is. It is this realization that she begins to help her client.
With every Picoult book I have read, she does paint a broad brush. Tea Party is evil and Democrat are heroes. but if you can get past all that, (you may have the same brush or brush might be switched) you may discover something about yourself that will make the world a better place when you put yourself where someone else has walked and lived. I would strongly urge if you get the urge not to read ahead…take this book and read it like you know nothing about it. By doing so it will reveal more of how you really feel.
A Special Thank You to Ballantine Books and Netgalley for the ARC and the opportunity to post an honest review.