Fiona R's Reviews > Shine

Shine by Jodi Picoult
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really liked it

Shine is a prequel to Small Great Things, due to be released in just a few weeks.

Before I started reading this story, I watched an interview in which Jodi Picoult discusses racism and privilege. It stayed with me as I read the story and led me to challenge my own attitudes and prejudices. Nobody likes to think of themselves as a racist, and it's an uncomfortable thought to admit that many of the privileges we enjoy ( level of income or career prospects) come at the expense of someone of another race (in this case, a Black person). Just because we don't openly insult people of other races or openly exclude them, are we any less racist when we ignore discrimination because it's advantageous for us to do so? Are we any different to those who ignored the persecution of the Jews, for example, and allowed them to be transported to their deaths?

As I read this story, I felt the weight Ruth must have felt as her eyes were opened to the inequality and racism surrounding her. I wondered how that might have felt for Ruth - that horrible epiphany when she realised how unjust the world around her really was, and when she realised no amount of hard work or behaviour modification would reverse people's attitudes to her, because it all came down to the colour of her skin. It's difficult to comprehend that level of devastation for a little girl living in a world that was not as she had always imagined it to be.

Shine is a good prequel despite its abrupt ending. I'm looking forward to the upcoming novel and to being challenged. Jodi Picoult is a master storyteller and one who (explained in the aforementioned interview) will not progress with a story if she doesn't believe she can do it well. This I respect and believe Small Great Things will be everything I'm hoping for. Can't wait!
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Reading Progress

August 9, 2016 – Shelved
August 9, 2016 – Shelved as: to-read
October 1, 2016 – Started Reading
October 1, 2016 – Finished Reading

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