I've read a LOT, but not all, of Jodi Picoult's novels:
- Harvesting the Heart
- The Pact
- Keeping Faith
- Plain Truth
- Perfect Match
- My Sister's Keeper
- The Tenth Circle
- House Rules
It's about a music therapist, Zoe, who is struggling with major infertility issues. She has multiple miscarriages and finally a pregnancy "takes," only to end at 28 weeks with a stillborn. (I think these types of books should have warning labels on them for anyone who has experienced infant loss!!!) That's why my reviews of them often have spoilers. No one who has experienced the loss of a child should have to read something like this unless they are prepared to. As someone who experienced infertility and miscarriages, I could understand Zoe's feelings of helplessness...and the way the medical staff referred to her lost babies as "tissue." I could also understand her love for music, along with its healing power.
After their baby dies, Zoe's husband Max decides he can't take any more and announces that he wants a divorce. Zoe tries to pick up the pieces of her life, and she finds love again, and has some hope that she might be able to be a mom after all.
As do most Picoult novels, there's a court case involved, and a lot of hateful intolerance (this time in the name of Evangelical Christianity). If you don't mind knowing some of the plot details, I encourage you to visit Picoult's wonderful web site and watch the videos she made about how this book personally affected her and her family. She also shares her personal commitment to justice and equality for all. Although some might say that some of the characters were one dimensional, I disagree. Picoult writes on her web site in great detail about her research with fundamentalist Christians, and although she disagrees with their intolerance, she paints her characters with depth.
My only criticism of the book was one time when I felt that one of the characters acted in an uncharacteristic way (by getting angry when Zoe was at one of her lowest moments), but beyond that, it was a highly satisfying read...and it made me cry at the end! I heartily recommend it.