I’ve been a fan of Jodi Picoult since I was in high school, so a decade now, and this is by far the best novel I’ve read by her. She really painted racism out for the readers in such a way that makes you realize that even one small act can be the wrong thing. There are no rose tinted glasses. Not only does Picoult show that people of color are treated differently, but that white people who don’t think of themselves as racists sometimes don’t see how priviledged they are because of their skin color.
It was such a classy way of opening up a discussion of how racism is viewed today by showing the readers the small things that occur in different areas. There was one section toward the end that Kennedy goes to a lower-income part of town that is mostly populated by people of color. Suddenly she found herself feeling like a trespasser as the locals were wary of her whilst giving her a wide berth. It’s intriguing how different atmospheres have different interactions despite the stigma placed on people of color by conservatives. White people are made to fear people of color, yet in this scene Kennedy finds that people of color fear her just as much while she’s walking by them in their own neighborhood.
Once more my eyes have been opened even wider by a Picoult novel. If you’re liberal and open-minded, like I am, then I highly recommend this novel. If you’re conservative, then I still urge you to crack open this book. You won’t be disappointed either way. All of the characters come to life, leaping off of the pages. I especially enjoyed reading Ruth’s and Kennedy’s perspectives, and how their relationship evolved into an understanding for each other and they ended up becoming friends after the trial had ended in its verdict.
Goodreads rating: 5/5 stars