Originally published in: 2016
What it’s about: Racism, the kind you respond to viscerally, but also not the kind you might think. When an infant dies of a medical emergency the black nurse who was helping care for him is accused of murder by his white supremacist father. Her white lawyer says that, despite the obvious, race can’t be mentioned during the trial.
What made me pick it up: I really like Jodi Picoult as an author. She writes trials extremely well, and always has some twist at the end to make your jaw drop. The way she weaves stories and characters together enthralls me. When I heard this was about race, I was intrigued. When it started getting phenomenal reviews, I jumped on the holds list.
My favorite things: The word that most comes to mind is masterful. Picoult left me completely speechless with this book. My Goodreads review just says “wow”. Her character building is solid, even of her extremely and overtly racist characters. She does a great job of filling in their back stories and giving you glimpses of their motivations as well as evolution. Most importantly, her examination of race and racism both implicit and explicit is well researched and thoughtful. If you want an added bonus, get yourself an audio version of the book. It’s partly read (and performed expertly) by the great Audra McDonald.
Who it’s great for: Jodi Picoult fans. Readers who enjoy twisty legal books. Anyone interested in racism in our country today.