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Ruth Jefferson is nurse at a hospital in Connecticut. She is considerably well-trained, with more than two decades of experience in labor and delivery. During one of her shifts, she performs a check-up on one newborn, only to be told moments later that she had been relieved of her duty and reassigned to a new patient. As it turns out, the newborn's parents are white supremacists, and they explicitly requested that Ruth, a black woman, not touch their baby. The hospital grants the request, but the following day, when Ruth is left alone in the nursery, the baby goes into cardiac arrest. Does Ruth obey the parents' wishes or does she try to save the child?
Ruth was found by her superior idling, doing nothing to save the baby. The parents of the newborn charge Ruth with a serious crime. A white public defender named Kennedy McQuarrie takes Ruth's case, but she insists on not playing the race card in the courtroom. A conflicted Ruth strives to keep the life she has with her son at home as normal as she could. Both Ruth and Kennedy struggle to gain one another's trust, and they eventually discover that everything they know about themselves and others as well might just be not quite right.
Small Great Things proves to be an outstanding achievement in tackling issues about race, prejudice, privilege, and justice. Raw, witty, and brutally honest—Jodi Picoult refuses to shy away from delicate matters and boldly states what the world needs to hear.
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