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Ratings and Book Reviews ()

Overall rating

4.6 out of 5
5 Stars
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All Book Reviews

  • Very Heavy Handed

    Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Wow, this book received so many 4 and 5 star reviews, but I’m only giving it 3. The topic is racism, and it’s a heavy book to read. The book is told from 3 perspectives: that of Ruth, the black nurse accused of murdering a newborn; Turk, the white supremacist father of the newborn; and Kennedy, the white public defender for Ruth. The plot is interesting, the characters are well-developed, the writing style is great. So what’s the problem? Well, instead of guiding me and making me examine feelings, thoughts and actions from my perspective or from another’s, the book was written with a heavy hand. The social commentary comes across as preaching, and just whacks you over the head. It describes whites and blacks as being so different from each other, so untrusting of each other, and so judgmental of each other, the conclusion is we can never get along. I don’t believe that, nor do I want to believe it. Without spoiling it, I will say the ending was way over the top and unbelievable. Overall, it's not a bad book, but it's not a great book. There are parts that will make you think, then there are parts that are so stereotypical they lose credibility. But I love the quote that the title is taken from: If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way. Napoleon Hill

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    4 person found this review helpful

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  • Gave me something to think about

    I like books that make you think and this was one of those books. This book deal with racism at all levels. I went through a wide range of feelings while reading this book. The story at the heart of the book seemed like it could have been pulled from current headlines. This was a story that I couldn't get out of my head and when I wasn't reading the book, I was thinking about it. I wasn't sure if this was a book that I would want to read when I first saw it but decided to give it a chance anyway and am very glad that I did. This story is told from 3 points of view. Ruth, a labor and delivery nurse, is at the center of the story. She has been working as a nurse for the past 20 years and likes her job. Her other main focus is on her teenage son, who is an honor student and an all around good kid. When Ruth is assigned to work with the Bauer family, things take a turn and she is pulled from the case. The problem is not with her actions but the color of her skin. She is told not to care for the baby and when she is left alone with him and he has an emergency things go wrong. As a result, Ruth finds herself in the middle of a nightmare, charged with a crime and unable to work. Turk is a white supremacist. His character made me angry and the parts of the book that were from his parts where hard to read. He is also a grieving father who wants to find some reason for his son's death. The blame is firmly placed on Ruth as the only African American nurse on duty and the individual who was there when the baby died. His hatred of anyone different that himself was extreme and often violent. Kennedy was the lawyer assigned to work Ruth's case. Ruth's case is the first big case that she has worked and she really does work hard on it. She learns a lot about how racism can slip in to our daily lives without most of us realizing it. She knows that racism shouldn't be brought into the trial because that is just not how cases are worked. But it is a part of this case. I thought that all three points of view brought a lot to the story. Sometimes they made me sad and other times they made me angry. Through Ruth, Kennedy, and Turk we learn about a lot of other people. Ruth's son goes through a lot as a result of the trial and must deal with issues from racism in his life. Ruth's mother and sister also play an important role in the story. Turk's wife and father-in-law were a large part of the story. Their belief system and history was difficult to think about but it helped illustrate their extreme thoughts. There were a few twists in the story that surprised me and I thought were well executed. I would recommend this book to others. I thought this was a thought provoking page turner that I think many readers will enjoy. I applaud Jodi Picoult taking on such a relevant topic in this book. I received an advance reader edition of this book from Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine via First to Read.

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    2 person found this review helpful

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  • Merveilleux

    Le meilleur livre qui m’ait été donné de lire. Ce livre pousse à la réflexion, nous tiens en allène, nous émeu et nous réjouis. Du bonheur à lire.

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    1 person found this review helpful

    1 people found this review helpful

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  • Great read

    Fantastic book that covers a relevant issue. Beautifully written. Must read

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    0 person found this review helpful

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  • Eye-opening look at racism

    This book really made me think about racism in a new way. I, like several characters in the book, have never considered myself to be racist. I firmly believe that the color of your skin should have no bearing on how others treat you or how you are perceived by them. However, this book made me reexamine some of my assumptions about the difference between equality and equity as well as how my views about race and racism have undoubtedly been distorted by my relatively privileged upbringing. I've had some enlightening discussions about the topic with people in my lives that wouldn't have happened without this book. I am grateful to Ms. Picoult for taking on the challenge of writing about such an emotionally and politically charged topic in a way that was also entertaining and readable.

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