Thursday, January 26, 2012

Sing You Home: Best Jodi Picoult novel I've read so far

Sing You Home, by Jodi Picoult

I've read a LOT, but not all, of Jodi Picoult's novels:
Plain Truth was the first one, and My Sister's Keeper and Keeping Faith have also been some of my favorites. But Sing You Home is definitely in my top three, and perhaps #1 now.

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.


  1. The plot was masterfully crafted. Picoult always picks a topic for her plot that is at the very pulse of modern culture. For this novel, Picoult actually used two hot button topics: the rights of the unborn and gay rights. While the rights of the unborn was a secondary plot device, Picoult still managed to shine a light on the sticky topic and make the reader think. On the front burner of the plot, was the rights of gays and lesbians. Whatever topic(s) Picoult is highlighting in her writing, she always manages to bring out both sides of the issue, another reason that multiple narrators are such an asset to her stories. It is clear that Picoult is on the side of equal rights for gays, her own opinion is never heavy-handed. I don't ever feel preached to or that Picoult is trying to sway me to her thinking. She merely tells her story, from both sides of the argument, in a way that captures the attention of the reader and makes them think.

  2. you haven't read her two BEST books... change of heart and 19 minutes!!

  3. I loved the book. I was hanging on by a thread towards the end, not knowing what was going to happen, wanting to read FASTER so that I could get to the ending, but once I got there, didn't want it to stop.