A woman is caught in a gripping moral dilemma that resonates far beyond her place in time and history in number one New York Times best seller Jodi Picoult's latest.
'I don't want that nurse touching my baby.' Those are the instructions from the newborn child's parents. However, when the baby goes into cardiac arrest, Ruth, a nurse of 20 years' experience, sees no option but to assist. But the baby dies. And Ruth is charged with negligent homicide.
Ruth is shattered and bewildered as she tries to come to terms with her situation. She finds different kinds of support from her sister, a fiery radical, and her teenage son, but it is to Kennedy McQuarrie, a white middle-class lawyer, to whom she entrusts her case - and her future.
As the two come to develop a truer understanding of each other's lives, they begin to doubt the beliefs they each hold most dear. For the privileged to prosper, they come to realise, others have to suffer. Racism takes many forms and is reinforced by the structures of our society.
In gripping dramas like Nineteen Minutes, My Sister's Keeper and The Pact, Jodi Picoult has explored the big issues of our time through characters whose lives resonate with us. Here we see once again her unrivalled ability to immerse us in a story whose issues will linger with us long after the story has finished.
©2016 Jodi Picoult (P)2016 Penguin Random House LLC
Being a fan of her style of writing I may be a little biased. I enjoyed the book even though the accusation thrown against the main character was a bit far fetched and incredulous.
Putting that aside, there was a lot in this book that helped me understand the racial currents and prejudice that continues to exist in our societies. This can be easily translated to other nations with religious or racial discrimination.
I thought the female characters were engaging and their narrative was what held me in the book. The acharacter of Turk, the skinhead supremacist was a bit drawn out and did not quite ring true. I found my mind drifting away at those points. I guess, it was somehow important to show the intensity of the hate that these people can harbour for whatever reason. I still thought that it took too long to depict it in the book. The remarkable turnaround was somehow too good to be true.
Overall, quite a good read. Definitely wakes you up to full appreciation of the racial tensions and motivation behind people's actions and reactions.
The narrators were excellent.
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