I’m a Jodi Picoult fan. Ironically, she was recommended to me years ago but I thought she was a ‘girly girl’ writer, a genre I’m not a fan of…
But since, I’ve read most of her books, loved them and couldn’t wait for this release as she attempted to confront the race problem. I’m still a fan, but I didn’t like this book. Jodi’s known for her research, taking years to develop her story before putting it down on paper. And her efforts in this project didn’t disappoint. But, from a Black man’s point of view, this is an example of how difficult it is for a person not of color to tell the story of what it is to be a minority. And how our minds work.
The story revolves around Ruth, Black, and a nurse, who is confronted by a patient, having a baby, who doesn’t want to be cared for by a Black person. Her racist husband is insistent. The child dies in Ruth’s care and she’s charged, spinning Ruth’s life out of control.
The surface is there, single mom, son who is affected by his mom’s demise, racist father of deceased child, police misconduct, etc. but it’s Ruth’s passivity that I question. I know of no one, and I know a lot of Black mothers, who would have handled the situation the way Ruth did. None. And that’s the crux of the story. Combined with the cliched experiences of her son’s reactions, her sister’s stereotype along with the police’s, this story just didn’t have any empathy.
I didn’t like it.