There are many good books in the world, but they don’t all stay with you. When you read a book that speaks to your heart and your world and you can’t stop thinking about it in terms of how your life is different because of it, then you know you’ve found something special.
“Small Great Things” is one of those books. I’ve read a number of Jodi Picoult’s books over the years, and although this one has the major hallmarks of her work — gripping courtroom drama, monumental twist at the end — it feels different. The characters, with the exception of Turk, the white supremacist, are all people whose hearts are basically in the right place and who have their lives together. This doesn’t feel like reading a novel, where you can see the artifice. It feels like reading about real people you know.
She’s not subtle in addressing her theme. Race is present on every page. It’s addressed through the eyes of well-intentioned white people, black people trying to fit in, and black activists trying to make white people see what they (we) don’t want to see. She even takes us into the point of view of Turk, a white supremacist, and in so doing helps us see how people become what seems incomprehensible to most of us.
This book will join the short list of books I recommend to everyone, and I can only hope that it can make a difference in the world.
Three words that describe this book: life-changing, challenging, beautiful
You might want to pick this book up if: you struggle with questions of race.