BJ’s Standout Reads July 2022
Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult Ruth is a very experienced labor and delivery nurse, and she’s black. The story starts when she’s doing a routine exam of a newborn when she gets a funny vibe off of the parents. Turns out they are white supremacists and are very angry that a black woman is handling their newborn son. She is told by her boss to stay away from that family, and a note is placed on the baby’s chart that no African American medical staff are to handle that baby. But when she’s in the nursery the baby is distressed and she tries to help but the baby died. So then they accuse her of killing their baby and she goes on trial. But we all know it’s bullshit, but she gets accused of murder. This was a super interesting look inside the white supremacist movement, I mean, you don’t feel sympathetic for them by any stretch, but still an interesting look.
The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult Sage is a baker who is grieving the loss of her mother. She attends a grief support group where she meets Josef, an elderly German man. They become friends and then he asks her to kill him to help him finally escape the terrible things he’d done when he was younger. When she asks him what the terrible things were she learns that he was an SS officer during the war and worked at concentration camps and was personally responsible for the death of thousands of people. She doesn’t want to kill him, she wants him extradited to Germany, as her own grandmother survived Auschwitz, and she wants justice done. Super interesting look into the investigation of nazi war crimes and how that all works. Gut wrenching story.
BJ Knapp is the author of Beside the Music, available for purchase here. Please sign up for the Backstage with BJ Knapp mailing list to get updates on events, signings, dog pictures and so much more.
added on 08.16.22