Small Great Things

Small Great Things

Ruth Jefferson Character Analysis

The protagonist of the novel; a labor and delivery nurse at the Mercy-West Haven hospital. Ruth was raised by Mama, a single mother who worked her entire life as a domestic servant for a wealthy white family. Though Ruth grew up resenting the Hallowells for employing Mama, they helped her enroll in a prestigious high school, which later allowed her to earn her nursing degree from Yale and buy a house in a white neighborhood. Ruth is a widow; her husband, Wesley, died when her son, Edison, was seven. Ruth tries to think the best of others and impress upon Edison that he can do anything if he works hard enough. This view becomes harder to live with after white supremacists Turk and Brit request that Ruth not touch their baby, Davis. This request means that when Davis stops breathing, Ruth hesitates to provide care and later, lies that she didn't touch him. Her life is turned upside down after this: the state takes away her nursing license and charges her with murder. She applies for welfare and gets a job at McDonald's. Ruth dislikes her public defender, Kennedy, a white lawyer who insists she doesn't see race. Ruth is upset when Kennedy insists that they can't bring up race in the courtroom or they'll lose, but realizing she has little choice, Ruth allows Kennedy to represent her. She does, however, do what she can to make Kennedy notice how racism affects Ruth's life. As the trial progresses, Ruth becomes more and more hopeless, especially as Edison starts to misbehave and, in Ruth's opinion, act like her sister Adisa. Ruth's relationship with Adisa is strained, as she believes Adisa embraces every bad stereotype about black people. Following Mama's death, however, Ruth begins to see that her black church community will always be there for her. Ultimately, Ruth insists on testifying and telling her truth, even though doing so will cause her to lose the case. Ruth is acquitted when Judge Thunder throws out the case, and she goes on to open her own practice and remain friends with Kennedy.

Ruth Jefferson Quotes in Small Great Things

The Small Great Things quotes below are all either spoken by Ruth Jefferson or refer to Ruth Jefferson. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Racism: Hate, Fear, and Grief Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Random House edition of Small Great Things published in 2016.
Chapter 1, Ruth Quotes

As Christina held my hand and Ms. Mina held Mama's, there was a moment—one heartbeat, one breath—where all the differences in schooling and money and skin color evaporated like mirages in a desert. Where everyone was equal, and it was just one woman, helping another.

Related Characters: Ruth Jefferson (speaker), Mama, Rachel / Adisa, Christina
Page Number: 6
Explanation and Analysis:
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Chapter 4, Ruth Quotes

I enrolled Edison in preschool there, so that he started at the same time as all the other kids, and no one could see him as an outsider. He was one of them, from the start. When he wanted to have his friends over for a sleepover, no parent could say it was too dangerous an area for their kid to visit. It was, after all, their neighborhood, too.

Related Characters: Ruth Jefferson (speaker), Edison, Wesley Jefferson
Page Number: 48
Explanation and Analysis:
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Babies are such blank slates. They don't come into the world with the assumptions their parents have made, or the promises their church will give, or the ability to sort people into groups they like and don't like.

Related Characters: Ruth Jefferson (speaker), Davis Bauer
Page Number: 62
Explanation and Analysis:
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Chapter 7, Ruth Quotes

"I'm sure the lady didn't mean anything by it," Mama pronounces.

But it didn't make me feel any less small.

Related Characters: Ruth Jefferson (speaker), Mama (speaker), Rachel / Adisa, Virginia
Page Number: 114
Explanation and Analysis:
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Chapter 8, Kennedy Quotes

In that moment, we're not black and white, or attorney and accused. We're not separated by what I know about the legal system and what she has yet to learn. We are just two mothers, sitting side by side.

Related Characters: Kennedy McQuarrie (speaker), Ruth Jefferson, Edison, Violet
Page Number: 146
Explanation and Analysis:
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I think about Ruth walking down the street in East End and wonder how many other residents questioned what she was doing there, even if they never said it to her face. How incredibly easy it is to hide behind white skin, I think, looking at these probable supremacists. The benefit of the doubt is in your favor. You're not suspicious.

Related Characters: Kennedy McQuarrie (speaker), Ruth Jefferson, Turk Bauer, Brit Bauer
Page Number: 147
Explanation and Analysis:
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Chapter 11, Kennedy Quotes

In fact, the easiest way to lose a case that has a racially motivated incident at its core is to actually call it what it is. Instead, you find something else for the jury to hang their hat on. Some shred of evidence that can clear your client of blame, and allow those twelve men and women to go home still pretending that the world we live in is an equal one.

Related Characters: Kennedy McQuarrie (speaker), Ruth Jefferson
Page Number: 196
Explanation and Analysis:
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Chapter 12, Ruth Quotes

Suddenly I realize that Kennedy's refusal to mention race in court may not be ignorant. It's the very opposite. It's because she is aware of exactly what I have to do in order to get what I deserve.

I might as well be blind and lost, and Kennedy McQuarrie is the only one with a map.

Related Characters: Ruth Jefferson (speaker), Kennedy McQuarrie
Page Number: 204
Explanation and Analysis:
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Chapter 14, Ruth Quotes

"The fact that I'm Black was never an issue in my relationship with my colleagues."

"Not until they needed a scapegoat. What I am trying to say, Ruth—may I call you that?—is that we will stand with you. Your Black brothers and sisters will go to bat for you. They will risk their jobs for you. They will march on your behalf and they will create a roar that cannot be ignored."

Related Characters: Ruth Jefferson (speaker), Wallace Mercy (speaker), Mama, Marie, Corinne
Page Number: 226
Explanation and Analysis:
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"You are not an imposter," Sam Hallowell told me. "You are not here because of luck, or because you happened to be in the right place at the right moment, or because someone like me had connections. You are there because you are you, and that is a remarkable accomplishment in itself."

Related Characters: Sam Hallowell (speaker), Ruth Jefferson
Page Number: 232
Explanation and Analysis:
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"You say you don't see color...but that's all you see. You're so hyperaware of it, and of trying to look like you aren't prejudiced, you can't even understand that when you say race doesn't matter all I hear is you dismissing what I've felt, what I've lived, what it's like to be put down because of the color of my skin."

Related Characters: Ruth Jefferson (speaker), Kennedy McQuarrie
Page Number: 238
Explanation and Analysis:
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Chapter 17, Ruth Quotes

She looks at me, and we both laugh, and in that instant we are merely two women, standing over a lasagne, telling the truth. In that instant, with our flaws and confessions trailing like a slip from a dress, we have more in common than we have differences.

Related Characters: Ruth Jefferson (speaker), Kennedy McQuarrie
Page Number: 283
Explanation and Analysis:
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When you're ready for us, we'll be waiting for you. At that moment, I feel another presence I haven't felt before...It's a community of people who know my name, even when I don't always remember theirs. It's a congregation that never stopped praying for me, even when I flew from the nest.

Related Characters: Ruth Jefferson (speaker), Mama, Rachel / Adisa
Page Number: 290
Explanation and Analysis:
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It is a picture of a Black woman wearing a maid's uniform, holding a little girl in her arms. The girl has hair as light as snow, and her hand is pressed against her caregiver's cheek in shocking contrast. There's more than just duty between them. There's pride. There's love. "I didn't know your mother. But, Ruth—she didn't waste her life."

Related Characters: Ruth Jefferson (speaker), Ava (speaker), Kennedy McQuarrie, Mama, Beattie
Related Symbols: The Photograph
Page Number: 292
Explanation and Analysis:
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Chapter 18, Kennedy Quotes

I've always thought of her as an uptight piece of work. But now I'm wondering: when she goes shopping, is she, like Ruth, asked to show her receipts before exiting the store? Does she mutely hand them over? Or does she ever snap and say she is the one who puts shoplifters on trial?

Related Characters: Kennedy McQuarrie (speaker), Ruth Jefferson, Odette Lawton
Page Number: 303
Explanation and Analysis:
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Chapter 22, Ruth Quotes

She falters, then gathers up the weeds of her thoughts and offers me the saddest, truest bouquet. "I didn't know."

"Why would you?" I reply—not angry, not hurt, just stating a fact. "You'll never have to."

Related Characters: Ruth Jefferson (speaker), Christina (speaker)
Page Number: 366
Explanation and Analysis:
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Chapter 23, Turk Quotes

I have been thinking about what Odette Lawton said: if I hadn't spoken out against the black nurse, would this have ended differently? Would she have tried to save Davis the minute she realized he wasn't breathing? Would she have treated him like any other critical patient, instead of wanting to hurt me like I'd hurt her?

Related Characters: Turk Bauer (speaker), Ruth Jefferson, Davis Bauer, Odette Lawton
Page Number: 382
Explanation and Analysis:
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Chapter 24, Kennedy Quotes

"You think you're a respected member of a community—the hospital where you work, the town where you live. I had a wonderful job. I had colleagues who were friends. I lived in a home I was proud of. But it was just an optical illusion. I was never a member of any of those communities. I was tolerated, but not welcomed. I was, and will always be, different from them."

Related Characters: Ruth Jefferson (speaker), Turk Bauer, Kennedy McQuarrie, Howard, Davis Bauer
Page Number: 404
Explanation and Analysis:
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Maybe if there were lawyers more courageous than I am, we wouldn't be so scared to talk about race in places where it matters the most.

Related Characters: Kennedy McQuarrie (speaker), Ruth Jefferson
Page Number: 415
Explanation and Analysis:
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Chapter 27, Ruth Quotes

What Kennedy said to all those strangers, it's been the narrative of my life, the outline inside of which I have lived. But I could have screamed it from the rooftops, and it wouldn't have done any good. For the jurors to hear it, really hear it, it had to be said by one of their own.

Related Characters: Ruth Jefferson (speaker), Kennedy McQuarrie
Page Number: 432
Explanation and Analysis:
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Ruth Jefferson Character Timeline in Small Great Things

The timeline below shows where the character Ruth Jefferson appears in Small Great Things. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1, Ruth
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Ruth tells the reader that the "miracle" happened in the big brownstone where Mama worked for... (full context)
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Suddenly a piercing scream rang through the house. Mama told Rachel and Ruth to stay in the kitchen, but they followed her to Ms. Mina's room anyway. Ms.... (full context)
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...birth affected everyone differently: Rachel had five children; Christina had one child via surrogate; and Ruth is now a labor and delivery nurse. The miracle she referred to, however, wasn't the... (full context)
Chapter 2, Ruth
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Ruth says that the most beautiful baby she's ever seen was born without a face. The... (full context)
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Ruth explains that she knew that if the father didn't acknowledge what had happened, he'd slowly... (full context)
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Ruth says that when she had her son Edison, she was mostly worried about her hair.... (full context)
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Ruth notes that there are three occupied rooms in the birthing pavilion. She meets Marie, the... (full context)
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Ruth finds Lucille, the nurse who was with Brit Bauer during labor, in the staff restroom.... (full context)
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As Ruth walks into the room, she introduces herself to Brit and asks the baby's name to... (full context)
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Ruth makes sure to smile as she hands Davis back to Brit and tries to help... (full context)
Chapter 3, Turk
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Early in the morning, a new nurse enters the room, introduces herself as Ruth, and explains that she'll be caring for Brit and Davis. Turk works hard to keep... (full context)
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...Turk tells Marie that he wants Lucille back. Marie insists that they can't discriminate against Ruth and says this is nothing like requesting a female doctor. Turk suggests that he could... (full context)
Chapter 4, Ruth
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After Marie sends Ruth out of the Bauers' room, Ruth and Corinne joke about how Turk is a real... (full context)
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Ruth checks Brit and Davis's charts when she gets back but finds a sticky note in... (full context)
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Ruth says that once, a Muslim couple came to the hospital to have their baby. The... (full context)
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As Ruth and Corinne prepare to leave that afternoon, Corinne asks what happened with the Bauers. When... (full context)
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Mama taught Ruth to read before she turned five. At that point, Ruth and Rachel got accepted to... (full context)
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Ruth decided early on to try to save Edison from the troubles she faced, so she... (full context)
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...friend Bryce. Edison has been on vacation to Greece with Bryce's family; this is unusual. Ruth notices that Edison is crying. He finally explains that when he approached Bryce about helping... (full context)
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Ruth asks Edison if he remembers a preschool classmate who insisted that Edison looked like black... (full context)
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Ruth says that she and her sister look nothing alike. Rachel is dark like Mama, but... (full context)
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Friday is Ruth's day off, so she meets Adisa at the nail salon. Adisa gives Ruth a hard... (full context)
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Ruth gets a phone call from Lucille, asking if she'd trade shifts with her and work... (full context)
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Ruth is sorry she switched with Lucille within minutes of getting to work. A storm means... (full context)
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Ruth is so busy that she doesn't see Corinne until nine the next morning. Ruth is... (full context)
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...away from monitoring Davis to go with another patient for an emergency C-section. She asks Ruth to watch him while she's gone, which should only be 20 minutes. Ruth stares at... (full context)
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Davis doesn't start breathing. Ruth hastily wraps him up and seconds later Marie comes up behind Ruth. Marie tells Ruth... (full context)
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Ruth recalls a teenage patient whose baby was stillborn. The mother nearly died too. Twelve hours... (full context)
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An hour later, as Ruth prepares to leave, Marie catches her in the staff room. Marie asks for Ruth's version... (full context)
Chapter 6, Turk
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...to speak to Francis, and cries. Turk thinks of Davis and thinks that he saw Ruth beating on Davis's chest before he died. He thinks she must've done something when she... (full context)
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...her face as he takes off his hat, revealing his swastika tattoo. He insists that Ruth killed Davis, says he heard the nursing staff talking about what happened, and that he... (full context)
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...he met with a cop named MacDougall, who wasn't sympathetic, and filed a complaint against Ruth. Turk's phone rings. It's MacDougall with news: Turk can have Davis's body to bury, and... (full context)
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...man. Francis ushers Brit upstairs while Turk grabs car keys and drives. He considers finding Ruth's house, but knows he'll be blamed. Instead, he finds a homeless man and beats him... (full context)
Chapter 7, Ruth
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For Ruth, life proceeds as normal until Carla Luongo asks her to come talk, two weeks after... (full context)
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Carla asks when Ruth touched Davis. Ruth knows that her answer can save her or damn her, and she... (full context)
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Ruth's shift begins with Marie assigning Virginia, a white nursing student, to shadow Ruth. Ruth leads... (full context)
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Ruth tells the reader that Mama still works for Ms. Mina. Sam Hallowell is now dead,... (full context)
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Ruth helps Mama hang the crystal back on the chandelier and finally, Mama asks what's wrong.... (full context)
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Ms. Mina, Christina, and Christina's four-year-old get home. Christina throws her arms around Ruth as Ms. Mina greets her warmly, and then Christina leads Ruth upstairs. Ruth inspects one... (full context)
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Christina interrupts Ruth to say that her husband, Larry, is going to run for Congress. Ruth asks how... (full context)
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One day when Ruth was a child, she unwittingly ended up in Sam Hallowell's study, which was off limits.... (full context)
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When Ruth gets home, Edison is doing homework. She's going to be late for her shift, but... (full context)
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Ruth tells her about meeting with Carla Luongo and says that the hospital is sacrificing her,... (full context)
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Adisa insists that this was bound to happen. She says that Ruth should just tell Edison the truth and get a lawyer to sue the hospital. Groaning,... (full context)
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A few hours later, Ruth returns home. Edison is concerned, but Ruth lies that shifts got mixed up, so she... (full context)
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Somehow, Ruth manages to fall asleep. She wakes up at 3 am to the sound of a... (full context)
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Ruth has been to the police station several times, but never like this. Officers check her... (full context)
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Finally, the young officer returns for Ruth. She flatters him and he decides she doesn't need handcuffs to walk to a room... (full context)
Chapter 8, Kennedy
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Kennedy's next client is Ruth. The police lead her in still wearing her nightgown, and Kennedy realizes the gallery is... (full context)
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Kennedy starts asking Ruth her usual questions, but Ruth spits that they put her in chains and handcuffed her... (full context)
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During her break, Kennedy rushes to Ruth's holding cell, where Ruth explains she's a nurse. When Kennedy tells Ruth they need to... (full context)
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...nervous and polite, and Adisa, who seems angry, and tells them that she can get Ruth out. Minutes later, the judge calls Ruth again. Kennedy paints Ruth as an upstanding citizen... (full context)
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The white supremacists start booing and as they're herded out, Kennedy tells a panicked Ruth that it'll take a few days before she's released. She runs to Edison and Adisa... (full context)
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...be warmer, but Ava suggests that Violet be Cinderella, Rapunzel, or Elsa instead. Thinking of Ruth, Kennedy asks if this is because Tiana is black. Ava, offended, agrees to sew the... (full context)
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...gets home and they talk briefly about their days. He's very interested in hearing about Ruth's case and the skinheads and asks if they all were wearing combat boots. Kennedy replies... (full context)
Chapter 9, Turk
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...fancier office, offers condolences, and says that this will be more complicated than just getting Ruth to pay for killing Davis. He explains that the State is currently pursuing criminal charges... (full context)
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...sound black on the phone. Turk reasons that this might work to his advantage. When Ruth is called, Turk spits on her face. He knows that Ruth will see his swastika... (full context)
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...and makes a statement while Turk walks to the back of the building to watch Ruth be carted off to jail. (full context)
Chapter 10, Ruth
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Ruth thinks of slavery as, after her arraignment, she's put in chains. Even worse, Edison is... (full context)
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The guard leads Ruth to a van where another woman sits in chains. She's tall and breathtaking and introduces... (full context)
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Ruth remembers how, when she applied to Yale for nursing school, Mama asked her pastor to... (full context)
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At the women's prison, Ruth and Liza are put in a holding cell with other women. Ruth asks Liza if... (full context)
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While the guard looks behind Ruth's ears, under her toes, and tells her to squat and cough, Ruth thinks of how... (full context)
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Ruth thinks back to when she was in fifth grade. One morning she read facts out... (full context)
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An inmate gives Ruth toiletries and a bedroll and shows her to her cell. Ruth notices that most of... (full context)
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During Ruth's meeting with her counselor, Officer Ramirez, Ruth is distraught to learn that it might take... (full context)
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As a girl, Ruth had semi-regular sleepovers with Christina at the brownstone. Sam would run old cartoons for the... (full context)
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One time, Ruth accepted an invitation to a slumber party with Christina and her friends. Christina invited two... (full context)
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That night, Ruth did her best to fit in. She made sure she was last in the bathroom... (full context)
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Ruth lies awake in jail, pretending to sleep. During one guard's circuit, he stops at Ruth... (full context)
Chapter 11, Kennedy
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When Kennedy dreams about Ruth for two nights straight, she knows she's in trouble. In the first dream, Ruth speaks... (full context)
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...Micah is sarcastic; this will take even more of Kennedy's time. Kennedy admits that it's Ruth's case and she probably won't get it. Violet races into the bathroom, excited because she's... (full context)
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Kennedy sends a formal letter to Ruth's house and a few days later, Ruth arrives at her office. They go to the... (full context)
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When Ruth insists that the issue is that Turk didn't want her near Davis, Kennedy pushes back.... (full context)
Chapter 12, Ruth
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On the morning after Ruth gets out of jail, she wakes up, starts coffee, and heads to Edison's room. Edison... (full context)
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Later, Ruth dresses carefully and heads to Kennedy's office. Kennedy greets Ruth warmly and starts talking quickly,... (full context)
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Ruth feels like she's taking a test as she answers Kennedy's questions. She thinks of Edison... (full context)
Chapter 13, Kennedy
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When Kennedy gets home after meeting with Ruth, Ava and Violet have made pizza. Kennedy picks Violet up as Violet asks her to... (full context)
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...mental note to thank Ava for bathing, feeding, and loving Violet, but also thinks of Ruth and that police will probably never grab Violet by mistake. (full context)
Chapter 14, Ruth
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Adisa buys Ruth lunch at a bistro. They talk about how much money Ruth has saved and Adisa... (full context)
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Christina invites Ruth to her house for lunch. A maid serves them salad and Ruth asks where Christina... (full context)
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Bitterly, Ruth says that Christina doesn't have to care anymore. Both women apologize, and then Christina fetches... (full context)
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Later, Adisa marches Ruth to the counter at the welfare office to apply for assistance. Ruth feels like she's... (full context)
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A few weeks later, Ruth starts her first shift at McDonald's. She was asked to start immediately, so she left... (full context)
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When Ruth gets home, she showers, starts dinner, and texts Edison. When he finally gets home, he... (full context)
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A week later, Ruth is on her way out the door for her shift when Wallace Mercy appears on... (full context)
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Ruth tells the reader about her favorite picture of her and Wesley. It's a wedding photo,... (full context)
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Within a month of getting the job at McDonald's, Ruth is a favorite among her managers. Her availability means that they often give her her... (full context)
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Ruth remembers how, a week after starting at Dalton, she came down with a stomachache. Mama... (full context)
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Ruth thinks of this as Edison's principal tells her that Edison punched Bryce. The principal agrees... (full context)
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When they get home, Ruth grounds Edison for one week. She extends it to two when he suggests that he... (full context)
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Kennedy asks if the heart murmur was life-threatening, and Ruth explains that it usually isn't. Kennedy says they can say anything they want about his... (full context)
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Primly, Kennedy says again that they can't talk about racism and this "perceived slight." Ruth dumps out the Band-Aids and asks if any of them are the color of her... (full context)
Chapter 16, Kennedy
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As Micah and Kennedy wash dishes, Kennedy laments that Ruth hates her. Micah points out that Ruth is black, and white people have all the... (full context)
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Twenty minutes later, Kennedy is on Ruth's doorstep. Ruth lets her in, and Kennedy says that involving Wallace Mercy will cost Ruth:... (full context)
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The next day, Kennedy interviews Jack DeNardi, a paper pusher at Ruth's hospital. She discovers that Ruth has only been promoted once in 20 years and is... (full context)
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It rains that weekend. While Kennedy and Violet are coloring, Kennedy gets a call from Ruth to invite her to go shopping with her for a gift for Mama. Kennedy agrees.... (full context)
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...box of caramel corn, opens it, and starts eating. An employee interrupts them to ask Ruth if she needs help and then trails them at a distance. As the women dig... (full context)
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Over the next month, Kennedy works hard on Ruth's case. When she has a spare few hours one afternoon, she heads out of the... (full context)
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After New Year's, Kennedy checks to see what judge is assigned to Ruth's case. Her heart sinks; it's Judge Thunder, a tough judge with a vendetta against Kennedy... (full context)
Chapter 17, Ruth
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During one of Ruth's shifts in January, she thinks of Edison. He's stopped doing his homework and is sullen... (full context)
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After work, Ruth discovers six missed calls from Kennedy—Adisa apparently involved Wallace Mercy and set up a march... (full context)
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Ruth remembers Edison's birth. She'd had an emergency C-section and Mama had been with her since... (full context)
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Near the end of January, Kennedy invites Ruth and Edison to dinner. Micah answers the door with Violet in his arms, dressed in... (full context)
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Ruth takes it upon herself to explain slavery to Violet. She gives a brief account of... (full context)
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Ruth remembers getting a black Barbie one year for Christmas. Mama made Barbie clothes out of... (full context)
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Ruth rushes to the hospital; Mama had a stroke and died in the ambulance. Ruth lets... (full context)
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...church. Ms. Mina has bought the fanciest casket, and people shuffle past, looking at Mama. Ruth wanted to bury Mama in her scarf, but she couldn't find it. When the service... (full context)
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The group reconvenes at Mama's apartment after the graveside ceremony. Ruth takes refuge in the kitchen and looks through Mama's partially finished handwritten cookbook. Kennedy interrupts... (full context)
Chapter 18, Kennedy
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...decline. Kennedy doesn't know Odette well, but wonders if she gets her receipts checked like Ruth does. Kennedy tries to make pleasant small talk, but Odette refuses the olive branch. As... (full context)
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Ruth and Kennedy meet behind the courthouse for jury selection. Ruth looks professional but very nervous.... (full context)
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...on how she rated other jurors. Judge Thunder finally says that the juror can stay. Ruth passes Kennedy a note that says, "thank you." (full context)
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When Judge Thunder dismisses them, Kennedy invites Ruth to get a glass of wine. She tries to raise a toast, but Ruth swirls... (full context)
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Ruth confirms that she'll still get to testify, and Kennedy says that just because the courts... (full context)
Chapter 19, Ruth
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On the morning of the trial, Ruth knocks on Edison's door. She finds him in bed, awake, and he refuses to go.... (full context)
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Ruth explains that last night, Kennedy stopped by with news that Davis had MCADD. Ruth stared... (full context)
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As Ruth and Edison step off the bus, Ruth receives a call from Adisa. Ruth follows Adisa's... (full context)
Chapter 21, Kennedy
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As Kennedy heads out the door for Ruth's trial, Micah tells her to sit and eat breakfast while Violet points out that her... (full context)
Chapter 22, Ruth
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Ruth can feel the stares of everyone behind her as she sits at the defense table.... (full context)
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Kennedy rises to make her statement. She says that Turk blamed Ruth for Davis's death, but the evidence will show that it wouldn't have made any difference... (full context)
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Corinne takes the stand. Ruth thinks that a year ago, she would've said that she and Corinne were close. Now,... (full context)
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Kennedy takes over questioning. She brings up Marie's note in Davis's file that barred Ruth from caring for Davis and suggests that Corinne actually messed up twice over: she left... (full context)
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Ruth explains that when Marie was hired, they were both nurses. They both applied for the... (full context)
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Kennedy questions Marie about the kind of care Ruth gave to patients, and asked if she'd thought of the possibility that Ruth might have... (full context)
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At the break, Kennedy offers to buy Ruth and Edison lunch. When Ruth refuses, Kennedy assures her that this was a good start.... (full context)
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...describe the role of chest compressions in resuscitating an infant, and to talk about how Ruth performed them on Davis. Isaac notes that saving a life can look violent and says... (full context)
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During recess, Kennedy and Ruth sit in a small room together. Ruth notes that if she's cleared, she's thinking about... (full context)
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When Dr. Atkins takes the stand, she smiles at Ruth before turning to Odette. Dr. Atkins mentions the heart murmur, describes Davis's circumcision, and mentions... (full context)
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Kennedy is excited at the end of the day, but Ruth can't stop thinking about Dr. Atkins's face when she saw Davis's test results. Ruth thinks... (full context)
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The next morning, a snowstorm means that Ruth and Edison are five minutes late. Kennedy is upset, but Judge Thunder is late too... (full context)
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Kennedy asks MacDougall why he showed up at Ruth's house at 3 am. He says it's normal and intended to disarm the suspect. He... (full context)
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When Edison and Ruth get home, they see a black car with a driver in front of their house.... (full context)
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...and sets one up on an easel. Before she can ask questions, Brit shrieks that Ruth killed her baby. The bailiff shows Brit out and when the furor dies down, one... (full context)
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...have had it. She suggests that Kennedy is just trying to make it look like Ruth didn't neglect and then intentionally harm Davis. That night, Edison heads out almost as soon... (full context)
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Ruth's last patient to use the suite was Jiao. She had too much amniotic fluid throughout... (full context)
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Edison slips into the house and is surprised that Ruth is still awake. She tells him to be careful and that she might not be... (full context)
Chapter 23, Turk
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...to calm Brit down. Odette bursts in, saying that Brit looks perfectly distraught but threatening Ruth was a bad move. Brit towers over Odette but finally agrees to go to the... (full context)
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...to treat patients when they don't agree with their beliefs, hence his request to take Ruth off of Davis's case. (full context)
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Then, Turk describes following the commotion to the nursery, seeing Ruth pounding on Davis's chest, and watching Dr. Atkins declare him dead. Odette offers Turk tissues... (full context)
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...that his perfect Aryan child had a genetic anomaly, so he's blaming Davis's death on Ruth. Full of rage, Turk leans over the rail, grabs for Kennedy, and calls her a... (full context)
Chapter 24, Kennedy
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...is thrilled as she meets with Odette and Judge Thunder. Odette tries to hang onto Ruth's sterilization comment as motive for murder, but Judge Thunder agrees to throw out the murder... (full context)
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Ruth points out that she hasn't testified, but Kennedy says that she doesn't need to. Kennedy... (full context)
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Kennedy remembers one night when she and Ruth had been working in her kitchen, and Violet fell and ended up with a nasty... (full context)
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On Friday morning, Kennedy meets Ruth and Edison behind the courthouse. Ruth is still insistent on testifying. Kennedy notices Wallace Mercy... (full context)
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Ruth then answers questions about the crash team's efforts, losing her nursing license, and working at... (full context)
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Odette's questioning seeks to show that Ruth lied several times about not touching Davis. She suggests that Ruth was more interested in... (full context)
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During recess, Kennedy drags Ruth to a conference room and asks if she's happy now. Ruth says she's angry and... (full context)
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...explains to the reader that it's time for her to raise the motion to acquit Ruth. Judge Thunder, however, looks murderous. He refuses to reconsider Odette's murder charge and says that... (full context)
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...and she hurries away, feeling unsafe and like she now understands a little of how Ruth feels every day. (full context)
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...been so caught up in winning her first murder trial, she's lost sight of what Ruth wanted all along: to point out that what happened to her was racially motivated. Kennedy... (full context)
Chapter 25, Ruth
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When Ruth gets home, Edison isn't there. She wonders if she's actually the villain for thinking that... (full context)
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...returns after midnight, carrying a knapsack. He looks wild and locks himself in his room. Ruth falls asleep on the couch and dreams about Mama's funeral again. This time, Ruth sees... (full context)
Chapter 26, Kennedy
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Kennedy receives a call from Ruth around 2 am. She heads straight to the police station and explains that she's the... (full context)
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Kennedy finds Edison in his holding cell, crying. He explains that he wanted to help Ruth by framing Turk. Kennedy tells the reader that if one is willing to pay extra,... (full context)
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...and everyone slips into Judge Thunder's courtroom. As Judge Thunder checks that everyone is ready, Ruth says she'd like to get rid of Kennedy. Judge Thunder refuses and grants another half... (full context)
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...everyone still said that things were equal. Kennedy says that she wants to know why Ruth is the only person who's taking the fall for Davis's death, when plenty of other... (full context)
Chapter 27, Ruth
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When Kennedy sits down, Ruth is flabbergasted. She realizes that Kennedy is the only person who could've made the jury... (full context)
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...awe of Kennedy's statement. Kennedy soberly says she shot herself in the foot and tells Ruth that it'll cost her. Ruth thinks of her night in jail and tells Kennedy that... (full context)
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Kennedy, Howard, and Ruth leave the courtroom and try to push through the press outside. Ruth sees Wallace Mercy,... (full context)
Chapter 29, Kennedy
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...jury to return their verdict. Edison returns to school, his desire to do well renewed. Ruth appears on Wallace Mercy's show and receives donations from his viewers. Brit is in the... (full context)
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...that juror number 12 is the one who won't budge. Kennedy relays the news to Ruth and says she doesn't know what will happen; there could be a retrial or Odette... (full context)
Chapter 30, Ruth
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Ruth walks out of the courtroom in a daze. She feels different, but also like nothing... (full context)
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Ruth remembers that she forgot Mama's scarf in the courtroom. She runs back to get it... (full context)
Chapter 31, Turk
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The nurse comes in and introduces herself as Ruth Walker. She owns the clinic and seems not to recognize Turk. Ruth examines Carys as... (full context)