Small Great Things: The bestselling novel you won't want to miss
By Jodi Picoult
The new novel from Number One bestselling author Jodi Picoult, with the biggest of themes: birth, death, and responsibility.Tweet
3.5 stars for this novel about racism in USA. Picoult, as always, tells a good story that's obviously been well researched and makes some good points in doing so. All credit to her for all of that. The story moves along quite quickly and I particularly enjoyed the trial scenes. These (all of the above) are the reasons for the 3.5 stars. The reasons I didn't give it more are because both the twist at the end and then the epilogue felt a bit unbelievable. And her writing style isn't my favourite but that's just me and my personal preference. She is, at least, furthering the conversation about race and it's worth a read because of that.
On a warm and balmy night the Gloucestershire Lit Lovers and Yummy Scrummy pudding club discussed Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult. It is the first time the Lit Lovers have read one of her books, and we really liked it. Our discussion was interesting, as we all found the book challenging and uncomfortable in parts.
This book certainly made us think. It made us question ourselves and how we see the world. Despite this, it is gripping, enjoyable and has a fantastic heart. It was powerful and the characters were beautifully written. Her research was obviously very extensive.
It was such a brave book for her to write, and we respected Jodi Picoult for this. She deserves the accolades she has received for the book, and it will make a great film.
Those of us who haven't read Picoult before are all keen to read some more of her books.
We recommend that everyone reads this book. You won't regret it.
The Macclesfield Library Book Group received free copies of this book from the Reading Agency, here are our thoughts:
All members really enjoyed the book they thought it was:
- 'thought-provoking' read.
- 'uncomfortable to read in places'
-'made me question my own opinions'
-'a great book with an unusual twist'
-'I enjoyed the book but I didn't like the ending!'
-'obviously very thoroughly researched'
-'with the level of research that has gone into this book- the writing sometimes felt 'clinical' and a bit 'too' factual.'
Everyone particularly liked that Jodi Picoult had written an authors note on why she had written the book and the research she had done.
Everyone seemed to really enjoy the majority of the book but ALL members felt that the twist was un-needed and that the ending could of been better.
The book promoted a lively discussion amoungst our members which everyone enjoyed being a part of!
'Great Small Things' by Jodi Picoult was kindly supplied to our Reading Group by The Reading Agency and was enjoyed by everyone. The book, overall, was quite gripping and helped us to empathise with anyone who has a darker coloured skin than white Caucasians. One member of our group said it would be a good book for everyone in order to see how easy it is to be racist without being aware that they might be causing racial offence.
In terms of prejudice, we found it interesting when the lawyer was introduced because most of us thought that the person was male when in fact she was a female and this issue made us think more deeply about stereotypes.
The title made us consider that although many of us feel that we are not able to change society or improve things for the better, small things can make a difference and the book emphasises that we can through a quote from Martin Luther King - "If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way."
The book mentions how we must strive for equity not equality and the example of a blind person being given a book to help them illustrates that concept perfectly. There was some discussion about the ideology of equal opportunities (rather than equality).
The references to some racist groups in America was illuminating. None of us had any idea of the extent to which these are thriving or the methods that they use to recruit and one member was almost deterred from completing the book as a result. The research that the author had undertaken when writing the book made the work all the more powerful, particularly relating to this aspect of racism.
We would all recommend the book to others and in fact it is one that has made us reflect on the way that we live our own lives. The only slight criticism that we had was that all of us found the medical terms and abbreviations were a barrier to our understanding and made the beginning of the book lose some of its appeal and momentum.
We liked the fact that the ending of the book kept us all guessing. One person thought that the ending was improbable whilst others said that the ending was unexpected but felt it was credible. Some friends and family of the group will be receiving a copy of the book as a present (but maybe we should be keeping this a secret)!
Excellent book; really makes you think about your own biases and preconceptions and captures very clearly on going 'racism' in society today