Ruth Jefferson is a labor and delivery nurse at a Connecticut hospital with more than 20 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?
"Hard to read for several reasons"
Today is Ruth's first day of third grade at Dalton. The prestigious institution on New York's Upper East Side couldn't be more different from her old school in Harlem. Despite being the smartest girl in her grade, Ruth suspects that her classmates and teachers see only her dark skin. She also notices that Christina, the daughter of her mother's employer, treats Ruth very differently when they're hanging out with the popular girls rather than playing together. Ruth must navigate between two worlds.
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.