First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?
- Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
- Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
- Finally… reveal the book!
“The Miracle happened on West Seventy-Fourth Street, in the home where Mama worked. It was a big brownstone encircled wrought-iron fence, and overlooking wither side of the ornate door were gargoyles, their granite faces carved from my nightmares.”
And the winner is….
Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult
This is such a thought provoking novel, I love most of Jodi Picoult books as it is, but this was quickly one of my favourites. Tackling the issue of racism and white privilege the story is told from three different perspectives, Ruth a nurse, Kennedy a public defender, and Turk a white supremacist. There are so many things about this book that I could rave about this book so I may leave it to a full review a some point if I get round to reading it again which I’m sure I will.
Ruth Jefferson is a labor and delivery nurse at a Connecticut hospital with more than twenty years’ experience. During her shift, Ruth begins a routine checkup on a newborn, only to be told a few minutes later that she’s been reassigned to another patient. The parents are white supremacists and don’t want Ruth, who is African American, to touch their child. The hospital complies with their request, but the next day, the baby goes into cardiac distress while Ruth is alone in the nursery. Does she obey orders or does she intervene?
Ruth hesitates before performing CPR and, as a result, is charged with a serious crime. Kennedy McQuarrie, a white public defender, takes her case but gives unexpected advice: Kennedy insists that mentioning race in the courtroom is not a winning strategy. Conflicted by Kennedy’s counsel, Ruth tries to keep life as normal as possible for her family—especially her teenage son—as the case becomes a media sensation. As the trial moves forward, Ruth and Kennedy must gain each other’s trust, and come to see that what they’ve been taught their whole lives about others—and themselves—might be wrong.