Picoult Rising

9780345544957_b58a3Already high on Amazon’s sales rankings Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult (PRH/Ballantine; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample), jumped even higher, rising from #54 to #36 on the strength of NPR Weekend Edition Saturday‘s feature.

Interviews by Scott Simon, the author of the LibraryReads pick which addresses the insidious effect of racism, opens with a gripping plot summary:

“Ruth Jefferson, a labor and delivery nurse at a hospital in Connecticut … is barred from tending to a newborn baby by the baby’s parents. Ruth Jefferson is African-American. Brittany and Turk Bauer are white supremacists. But Davis, their baby, goes into cardiac distress while Ruth is on duty, briefly alone in the nursery. Should she disobey the order she’s been given by the hospital or touch the baby to try to save him? And does her slight hesitation doom the newborn boy?”

Picoult says the story was inspired by a Flint, Michigan case and her desire to tell the story from different points of view,  “the African-American nurse, the white public defender and the skinhead father, as they all confronted their beliefs about power and privilege and race.”

Simon asks about the timeliness of the novel and Picoult responds “any time in the past 200 years would have been timely.”

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