Posts Tagged ‘trial’
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.
FINALLY! It took a few weeks, but the newest Jodi Picoult book, “House Rules“, finally became available for the Kindle. I was really disappointed that it wasn’t available immediately and I didn’t want to go out and spend $15-20 on it at the store when I could download it for $9.99 eventually.
Single mom Emma has two teenage sons, one of which (Jacob) has Asperger’s, a form of autism. While Jacob might seem “normal” on the outside, he is not able to function socially like other people, has to follow strict routines, and he absorbs and retains large amounts of knowledge about particular topics that he’s interested in (current topic of interest = forensics). He also has an IQ of over 160. He has a special tutor, Jess, who helps him with communication issues by teaching him how he should interact with others. One day, Jess gets upset with Jacob after a fight with her boyfriend, and the next day, Jess goes missing. The finger is pointed at her boyfriend first, but then after Jess’s body is found a few days later, Emma think that Jacob may be involved somehow. When she goes to the police with this information to try to help their investigation, they arrest Jacob for Jess’s murder.
Jacob does NOT do well in police custody or jail due to his Asperger’s. Emma and Jacob’s lawyer fight for Jacob’s freedom in court and are able to get him released and sent home to prepare for the hearing. Throughout this whole process, Jacob maintains that he didn’t do anything wrong – but you have to understand that he has a different way of thinking than everyone else.
To be totally honest, this wasn’t my favorite Jodi Picoult book. I think it was because I figured out the signature “twist” ending way too early in the book and it felt like it was dragging for awhile until the actual situation was revealed at the end. I don’t think I really was able to do that with her other books that were written in this same format (at least that I could remember). I did learn a LOT about Asperger syndrome; I don’t know if I really knew anything about it beforehand. It was by no means a bad story, but just not one of my favorites from her. If you like Jodi Picoult’s books, then you should at least give it a shot – maybe it would turn out to be one of your favorites!
A new book was released last week from one of my favorite authors, Jodi Picoult. Unfortunately, the book isn’t available for the Kindle yet so I can’t read it. I refuse to pay $14-18 in a store when I can (eventually) get it for $9.99 for the Kindle. I guess I’ll just have to wait.
In the meantime, I thought I’d write about one of my favorite books of hers, “Plain Truth”.
This was the second Jodi Picoult book that I ever read (“My Sister’s Keeper” was the first) and it totally made me fall in love with her writing. In “Plain Truth”, a teenage Amish girl named Katie is accused of murdering her baby…. which she denies even ever giving birth to. Ellie is a lawyer who is familiar with the Amish and agrees to take on the case, even though Katie really doesn’t want her help. Throughout most of the book, you are asking yourself several questions: Was it really her baby? How did she get pregnant? How did the baby die? What really happened in that barn???
Ellie asks an “old friend” of hers, a psychiatrist, for assistance in determining what is truth and what is fiction and as Katie goes to trial, the real story comes out, piece by piece. During this whole process, Katie is being shunned by her Amish community (including her own father) and you learn a lot about the rules and values of the Amish people.
Bonus – this book has been made into a movie! I’m sure everyone has heard of or seen the movie version of “My Sister’s Keeper” (except me! I know I would hate it.), but “Plain Truth” was a Lifetime movie starring the wonderful Mariska Hargitay. I accidentally ran across it while browsing the TV listings guide a few months back and watched about half of it. I accidentally fell asleep during the other half – not at the fault of the movie. I probably had a migraine. Anyway, I totally love Mariska in “Law & Order: SVU” and was worried that she’d have the same I’ll-kick-your-butt demeanor that she does as Detective Olivia Benson, but she doesn’t. She has a much softer personality and you could see her being someone that a frightened, confused teenage girl could trust and bond with.
What I like about this book is that I was asking myself questions and trying to put together the pieces of the puzzle throughout the story; it was never just handed to me already put together. I also enjoy books involving trials and such, as long as they’re about something interesting (that’s probably why I’m a big fan of “Law & Order: SVU”, too). Quite a few of Jodi Picoult’s books have this same feel, typically the newer ones, but I had a really hard time reading some of her older books. I’ll write about her other books another time! Hopefully I’ll be able to write about “House Rules” sometime soon… as soon as it comes out in Kindle format!