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Book Review: Small Great Things – Another Fabulous Book by Jodi Picoult

Small Great ThingsSmall Great Things

A Novel

by Jodi Picoult

Ruth is the daughter of a housekeeper. When school was out, she and her sister would go with their Mama to the big house. They either stayed quietly in the kitchen while their mother worked or sometimes play with the daughter of the family. On one such day a premature baby shaped the three young girl’s lives. Ruth grew up to become a labor and delivery nurse. But more importantly, it was a moment of perfect harmony between classes and races that Ruth would not see again for many years.

Fast forward from 1976 to current day and we find Ruth still doing what she loves. She helps bring new babies into the world, comforts new parents and even helps ease the unspeakable burden when something goes terribly wrong. Until the fateful day she had to decide between the orders she was given and trying to save a baby’s life. No matter what choice she made it was not going to be right, but she could have never imagined she would have ended up in jail for murder.

Enter Turk. He and his wife are in the hospital for the delivery of their first child. Everything was going great until Ruth came in to check on the newborn and his mother. Turk demanded to see Ruth’s supervisor then insisted Ruth was not to come near his child. For no other reason other than he was a White Supremacist and she is an African American. Did his actions lead to the death of his firstborn.

Kennedy is the public defender that is given the task of sorting the details out to defend Ruth in court. She normally doesn’t take cases of this magnitude, but after the initial court appearance, she is compelled to help Ruth. But can her upper class back ground understand the issues of a black woman and defend her?

Jodi Picoult takes social issues out of the headlines, researches the issues from every side and then researches some more. The facts and interviews are fictionalized, and then put together in a way that leaves each side distinguishable and intact, yet interacting with the other sides. One of my professors in college used to say the United States used to be a melting pot, but was now a tossed salad – with lots of individual parts adding to it each keeping their individuality. Some of the ingredients are sweet, some are sour, and some are unknown until you give them a try. This is how I see Picoult’s characters; they are rich, full and different as day and night but are put together for some reason and have to work it out – much like real life.

I am the first one to say Jodi Picoult is, in my opinion, one of the greatest authors today. I have read almost all of her books. She has made me laugh, cry, or become outraged over the issues her characters faced that often seem so unfair. I can honestly say I have never finished one of her books without talking about it to everyone I know that reads and loaning them out so others will enjoy them also.

On a personal note, I’ve met her at several book signings and book talks. She is as delightful in person as she seems in interviews and online. If you get a chance to go to one of her book talks and signings, please do so.

Small Great Things will be available on October 11, 2016 and you can pre-order it now at your favorite bookstore.

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy for free from the publisher in connection with NetGalley in return for my review. Copyright © 2016 Laura Hartman

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Book Review: Adrenaline – Medical Thriller Keeps You Guessing to the Last Page


John Benedict

Hospitals are institutions of healing. Not all patients can be saved, but the vast majority of patients are healed. In our current society, minor operations are considered routine.  Modern medicine trains doctors, nurses and techs with techniques and surgeries that were unheard of only a few years ago, and new strides are being made every day. This is true at most hospitals, including the setting of Adrenaline, Mercy Hospital.

Things are changing at Mercy Hospital. A merger is eminent and there may be cutbacks resulting in lost jobs for many areas, including anesthesiology. Depending upon the way the merge goes, the affect could be devastating to their department Dr. Doug Landry, one of the best in the department, feels a prickle of fear in the back of his mind whenever it is discussed.

Then patients begin dying in the O.R. during routine procedures. Seemingly healthy patients going in for minor surgeries are reacting badly to the anesthesia. The doctors are following all procedures, monitoring the patients carefully and pulling out all the stops when things go south, but nothing seems to be working.

Behind the scenes, these doctors, like many other humans have secrets. One is a sexual predator. He preys upon young interns and nurses abusing those who don’t have the power to fight him.

Another is not happy at home. Things have become routine, so when he gets encouragement from a co-worker, he might break more than one vow he has made.

Drugs have tempted another one. Will he risk his career and possibly his life to feed that monster?

Landry is at the center of all of this commotion. He isn’t perfect, but quickly figures out something is going on and it is a deadly game. As he works feverously trying to catch the person sabotaging the anesthesia department, which has resulted in the death of more than one patient, he finds himself in mortal danger. His race against time has become a race against life and death.

Adrenaline is Dr. John Benedict’s first novel. Appropriately named, it ramps up from a mysterious happening in the O.R. to a heart pounding conclusion.

I really liked the fast paced style of this novel. The sheer number of suspects kept me guessing until the final chapters. Benedict, who is a practicing anesthesiologist, brings all of his expertise to the pages to draw the readers into the O.R. I’m looking forward to reading the next book in the series, The Edge of Death.


Copyright © 2016 Laura Hartman

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy that I can keep for consideration in preparing to write this content. I was not expected to return this item after my review.

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