Tag Archives: Ballantine

Review: Small Great Things

Small Great Things

Small Great Things
By Jodi Picoult
Ballantine Books, 9780345544971, February 2018, 528pp.

The Short of It:

This is a book that will fire you up and make you angry but it’s also a great book to discuss.

The Rest of It:

A good friend suggested Small Great Things to me after I read Just Mercy. Before the “safer at home” orders, I bought a copy of the book but then I sat on it because with the quarantine and all, I had such a hard time focusing on reading that a book, heavy with race themes, didn’t seem like a book I wanted to reach for. But, I promised her I’d read it and I finally did.

Ruth is a labor and delivery nurse, a graduate of Yale with twenty years experience in the field. As she tends to a young mother who has just given birth, and begins to assess the infant, she is asked by the parents to step away from the child. Shortly afterward, her supervisor explains that the parents do not want a black nurse tending to their son and places a Post-it note in the child’s file, saying so. Although it’s explained to Ruth that parents make special requests all the time and that this is no different, Ruth is the only black nurse in the unit and feels that this is a personal attack against her.

After the child experiences a medical emergency, and Ruth is the only nurse available to tend to him, she’s not sure what to do. Care for the infant in an attempt to save him or follow the orders that she’s been given?

This was a really great read. Timely. As I was finishing the final pages the news about Ahmaud Arbery came to light and it made me all the more angry while reading. Small Great Things speaks of injustice but also touches on white supremacy and the rise of it. It’s a tough pill to swallow and you will hate some of these characters. I suppose that’s a testament to Picoult’s writing because these characters smacked of hate and I did not want to spend any time with them.

That said, this would make a fabulous book club read because there is so much to discuss. Ruth is also a widowed mother, caring for her college-bound son so her choices directly impact her son and his ability to continue his education. Have you read it? If not, definitely add it to your list.

Source: Purchased
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

Review: Something in the Water

Something in the Water

Something in the Water
By Catherine Steadman
Ballantine Books, 9781524797676, April 2019, 384pp.

The Short of It:

When I picked this one up I was thinking it would be along the lines of Jaws or The Abyss.  Not a spoiler but ocean life is not a big player here.

The Rest of It:

Erin makes documentaries for a living. Mark is an investment banker and not a very good one as he’s just been fired. Erin and Mark are engaged, in love and completely stressed out because if Mark doesn’t find a job soon, they’ll lose their home.

To add insult to injury, the big, beautiful wedding they had planned had to be cancelled due to cost. They opt for a smaller celebration and cut their glorious three weeks in Bora Bora to a mere two but they still manage to get themselves into trouble when a scuba diving trip goes wrong.

These two. What a pair! You learn very early on that Erin and Mark don’t seem to posses the highest morals. They are manipulative and don’t have a problem justifying their bad decisions. When that scuba diving trip uncovers the answer to their all their troubles, they don’t hesitate at all before diving head first into a pile of trouble.

As Erin and Mark continue to justify their actions, things begin to crumble around them and they find themselves trying to cover up their tracks. When they begin to question one another, then it gets particularly good.

Something in the Water was quite readable. The tension ran high throughout most of the book and I kept flipping those pages to see how the story would end. I didn’t love the characters and some of the story lines were too convenient and not realistic at all so in the end I didn’t love it but reading it was a solid way to spend the afternoon.

Source: Review copy provided by the publisher.
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.