Small Great Things, by Jodi Picoult

512W0Bt+OmLSmall Great Things, by Jodi Picoult, published by Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine Books, publication date Oct. 11, 2016

*Disclaimer: I received a free, digital copy of this book in exchange for my honest review*

Known for her unwavering insights into controversial topics such as the death penalty, gay rights, mercy killing, and stem-cell research, Jodi Picoult has shown time and again that she is unafraid to use fiction as a way to bring attention to important issues. Often classified as a moral or ethical writer, Picoult also has the rare gift of creating relatable, complex, and likable characters, as well as the ability to pull readers into her books and make them feel as though they have as much at stake as the players in the story.

In Small Great Things, Jodi Picoult confronts one of the most divisive issues prevalent in today’s society: racism in America. Given the current political and social climate, we as readers (and human beings) have a responsibility to challenge ourselves to look deeper into ourselves and into those societal norms to which we often turn a blind eye.

In this book, Picoult presents three very different characters: an African-American nurse, a male white supremacist, and a white female lawyer. Each character confronts and experiences racism in her or his own unique way – and throughout the story, each has to reassess their own role in accepting and furthering racism.

As a white girl, I have to admit there were some instances in this book where it was more challenging to relate to the black characters than to those of my own color. But isn’t that a good thing? Fiction should challenge us to see the world from another person’s perspective, should bring us a higher awareness of what it is to walk in someone else’s shoes. That is, after all, one of the greatest and most powerful things about fiction.

When this book comes out in October – read it. At the very least, you will get the pleasure of reading a story written by an author who has become a familiar friend to those of us who like our fiction to have a little meat to it while still remaining easy to digest. And at the most, you will come away from the experience with a deeper understanding of what it means to be a racist in today’s society. Either way, it is worth your time.

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And, for a sample of my fiction writing, follow the link to read my original short story, “Lost and Found,” recently published by the Hawaii Pacific Review:



Shannon Bowring

About Shannon Bowring

I am 26 years old. I was raised up in the County, in the tiny town of Ashland. I attended the University of Maine in Orono and graduated in 2012 with a BA in English, with a concentration in Creative Writing. Reading and writing have always been the greatest loves of my life. I am most at home in the dusty corners of used bookstores, surrounded by forgotten books. One day, inspiration struck when I decided I wanted to combine all my loves – writing, reading, traveling, exploring these beloved shops – to create an outlet in which I can share my bookish adventures with an audience of like-minded readers who could appreciate my love of words and stories.