Archive for March 2011

Sing You Home by Jodi Picoult

Jodi Picoult has been one of my favorite authors for the past few years now and in fact I’ve blogged about two other of her books here.  I noticed several days ago while browsing around in the Kindle bookstore that she had a new novel out as of March 1.  This one is a little unique… a CD is apparently included with the hard cover/paperback versions and a digital download of a CD accompanies the ebook version (however, the Kindle doesn’t  support that so it pointed me toward the publisher’s website where I could go to hear the songs).  I’ll be honest – I haven’t actually listened to the music yet, but it is supposed to go along with the different chapters of the book (one song per chapter) to fit the mood/feeling of each chapter and situation.

Sing You Home” is about a music therapist named Zoe and her landscaper-slash-surfer husband, Max.  Zoe works with many types of clients in hospitals, nursing homes, and schools to use music to help them work through different issues.  Zoe and Max have infertility issues and have been trying to have a baby for years but have suffered multiple miscarriages and now, after several IVF treatments, a stillbirth.  While Zoe wants to try again one more time since she’s reaching the age of 40, Max has had it and can’t handle (or afford) another round of IVF and asks for a divorce.  After the divorce, Zoe tries to make some new female friends and quickly becomes close with Vanessa, a guidance counselor at the high school where she’s done some therapy.

Zoe doesn’t realize at first, but Vanessa is a lesbian.  As they spend more time together hanging out as friends, they both realize that they care much more for each other than friends.  Zoe admits that she never had this type of connection with Max the entire time they were married.  They become a couple, and after several months of dating, they visit the neighboring state of Massachusetts and officially get married, although it’s not recognized in their home state of Rhode Island.  After their marriage, they talk about children and Zoe remembers that she has three frozen embryos from her last round of IVF.  Although Zoe has had a hysterectomy and can no longer have children, Vanessa is able to carry a child.

The problem is that after the divorce, Max was taken under the wing of a local pastor of a popular church and has developed strong religious views.  He is not approving of Zoe’s new lifestyle.  When Zoe asks for his permission for her and Vanessa to use the remaining embryos, Max does not want their children raised in a lesbian household and instead wants to give the embryos to his brother and sister-in-law, who also suffer from fertility issues.  What follows is a lawsuit to prevent Zoe from using the embryos and a media circus when it comes to this controversial topic.

Some of Jodi Picoult’s other books have definitely discussed controversial issues but this one is probably the most controversial that I’ve read from her.  I’ve seen very mixed reviews on this book but I like to form my own opinion rather than relying on others.  I’m not going to get into how I personally feel about these topics because that’s not what this blog is about and you can decide on your own if this book is for you.  All I will say is that I was drawn into the story and didn’t want to put the book (actually, my Kindle) down.  I could really imagine the characters as real people and Picoult did a good job of getting the reader to feel their emotions.

If anyone does check out the music that goes with the book (or reads the book while listening to the music), let me know how it is.  I’m sure I’ll go listen to it at some point.

2012 Reading Challenge

2012 Reading Challenge
Jaci has read 1 book toward her goal of 35 books.
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