Nov. 7: Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult

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small great thingsRuth Jefferson is a labor and delivery nurse at a Connecticut hospital with more than twenty years' experience. During her shift, Ruth begins a routine checkup on a newborn, only to be told a few minutes later that she's been reassigned to another patient. The parents are white supremacists and don't want Ruth, who is African American, to touch their child. The hospital complies with their request, but the next day, the baby goes into cardiac distress while Ruth is alone in the nursery. Does she obey orders or does she intervene?

Ruth hesitates before performing CPR and, as a result, is charged with a serious crime. Kennedy McQuarrie, a white public defender, takes her case but gives unexpected advice: Kennedy insists that mentioning race in the courtroom is not a winning strategy. Conflicted by Kennedy's counsel, Ruth tries to keep life as normal as possible for her family—especially her teenage son—as the case becomes a media sensation. As the trial moves forward, Ruth and Kennedy must gain each other's trust, and come to see that what they've been taught their whole lives about others—and themselves—might be wrong.

 
With incredible empathy, intelligence, and candor, Jodi Picoult tackles race, privilege, prejudice, justice, and compassion—and doesn't offer easy answers. Small Great Things is a remarkable achievement from a writer at the top of her game.
 
From "The Washington Post: Small Great Things is the most important novel Jodi Picoult has ever written....It will challenge her readers...(and) expand our cultural conversation about race and prejudice.” 
 
Quotes from Jodi Picoult
 
  • “You might not write well every day, but you can always edit a bad page. You can’t edit a blank page.”
  • “You don’t love someone because they’re perfect, you love them in spite of the fact they are not.”
  • “If you gave someone your heart and they died, did they take it with them? Did you spend the rest of forever with a hole inside you that couldn’t be filled?”
  • “Many of my books come from what if questions that I can’t answer, things that I’m worried about as either a woman, a wife, a mom, an American.”
 
Remember: Registration is required. Pleaseregister so we know who is coming.

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Dec. 5 book: The Book of Joy by the Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu

Why not plan ahead and pick up books that we will be discussing in the next few months? Many are available at local libraries