Sing You Home by Jodi Picoult

I never get hold of Jodi Picoults easily. There is a mile long waiting list for them, normally, so when I saw this one sitting in the ‘Just returned’ section, I grabbed it – quick, real quick.

Max and Zoe Baxter are about to have a baby. A much awaited for baby, who came after 5 cycles of IVF treatment, 2 miscarriages, and lots of heart break. Zoe is 28 weeks pregnant, at a baby shower organised for her, when she gets painful cramps, and is rushed to the hospital. They couldn’t find a heart beat for the baby, and she had to be induced to deliver her stillborn son. Heart-broken after the loss of the baby, all Zoe wants is to try for another baby, while all Max wants is a divorce. He has had enough.

The divorce left Zoe depressed, unhappy and with nothing to look forward to, while Max turns to alcohol. An alcoholic, he had stayed dry for a long time, but the loss of the baby and the end of their marriage pushed him over the edge. He discovers God, rather Church which saves him from self-destruction.

Zoe, in the meanwhile, is found to be suffering from cancer, and has had to undergo a hysterotomy and with that loses all hopes of having a baby, until she falls in love with Vanessa. They get married and realize that Zoe’s dream of becoming a mother can still come true. Zoe and Max still had three embryos from their last IVF cycle, and Vanessa could carry the baby, now that Zoe can’t.

Zoe gets in touch with Max to get his permission(both parents’ consent is required) to implant the embryos in Vanessa. To her shock and surprise, Max is a different person now. He has discovered God, a God who according to his church believes that same sex marriages are living in sin. So much so that they end up in court fighting for the right to use the embryo.

Sing You Home has so many aspects covered, Gay and Lesbian rights, the homophobia that is rampant in certain sections of society, the heartbreak that infertility brings.. It brings home to the reader, how difficult things can be to people going through such situations. How fair is it that a gay or a lesbian couple has to fight so hard for things that are considered natural for the rest of us – marriage, becoming parents, living a stigma free life, freedom to love and spend the rest of their life with the love of their life? Does having a different sexual orientation ban a person from these basic rights? Who defines normal? Β what makes for a loving family? Can blind belief in religion(or rather interpretation of religion) distort our views?

The book also has a musical score with it. Zoe is a music therapist, and each chapter has a musical score we can listen to while reading – I did not read it with the music. I plan to buy the book, and read it again with the music. Picoult explains quite a bit about music therapy so that we, readers get an idea as to what it is all about.

Another wonderful book by Picoult. Her books never disappoint. I will certainly be reading it again. All the characters are well thought out and well etched out. Zoe’s wonderfully eccentric mother, Max’s conservative, super successful brother, the fanatical Pastor Clive..

Another book which will stay with you. Your heart breaks with Zoe’s, empathize with Vanessa’s insecurities and worries, Β you understand how Max is caught between his faith and his doubts about right and wrong.. A book that I will definitely re-read. I would recommend it to anybody who likes Jodi Picoult books – another gem from her.

29 thoughts on “Sing You Home by Jodi Picoult

  1. I am currently reading House Rules by her…you know Smitha, you introduced me to her…(You had done a review earlier) Now I read quite a bit of her books, the last one I read was ‘Nineteen Minutes’ and I was pretty depressed after reading it…RD told me to STOP reading her books (I get affected very easily) But some how there is something about her writing which makes me go back to her reading again and again..

    Thanks for introducing me to her πŸ™‚

    • Her books do take a toll on you – it makes you think, it takes you through what the characters are going through.. And the topics she picks up – so so heart wrenching. And she does such a great job at it, that we are still panting for more …

      You are welcome, sweetheart -as far as you don’t curse me for it πŸ™‚

      • Didnt read this before I commented. But yeah, this always happens to me too with her books. I remember I had begun to read one during pregnancy and then after about 20-30 pages, I just put it aside because it was too much for me to handle! I had begun to loose sleep!

  2. Sounds very interesting. I will pick this one up. πŸ™‚

    I am currently reading my first Jodi Picoult book – Salem Falls. Kinda getting overwhelmed by the story, the number of characters and the number of sub-plots, but am enjoying it nonetheless. There is something about her writing style, which makes it gripping and interesting.

  3. Story sounds heart-wrenching and very complicated. As if there weren’t enough troubles in life already…. reading this will probably screw your mind πŸ˜› (excuse the langauge plz!)

  4. Another typical Jodi book. I think Pysch Babbler had reviewed this one that is why the story soudsn familiar. Out here her books aren’t that easily avlbl and if they are then very expensive. But this one looks like a must read.
    I already have “House Rules” which lies unread, lemme finish that first πŸ™‚
    Psst good review!

    • Thanks Amritorupa. The lesbian angle reminds us of the things that we take for granted, and what they have to fight so hard for.. It was a wonderful story.

  5. You should read her latest too…as usual with lots of moral/ethical questions. I enjoyed this book too but My Sister’s Keeper is still my fav followed by Nineteen minutes, Picture Perfect, Salem falls and Perfect Match….they all come an equal second.

  6. Picoult scares me with her writing, Her tales are heart wrenching.. and she writes them so well.

    That is certainly true.. She takes up such difficult issues, and then makes up even more complex scenarios, doesn’t she? Her style of writing is certainly amazing!

    Her characters and plot come alive in each page.


    I saw this one at the library, but, havent mustered up the courage to pick it up…
    Do give it a try – give it up midway, if you don’t want to read through it:)

  7. I haven’t ever read her books so far and so, I picked up a Jodi Picoult reading challenge. I am really looking forward to read her works what with most of my fellow bloggers talking of her πŸ™‚

    A very crisp review. i am sure I will watch out for this one ! πŸ™‚

  8. I’ve read the book and loved it. Thanks to the UK libraries and also that one could reserve the books :). I’ve read most of Jodi Picoult’s books except for a couple. I might just get them from the library and read them since everyone seems to have loved them. Her writing does disturb me because I end up thinking of the characters as one can also relate to them in a life-like manner, don’t you? I read one of her books and then read Nora Roberts’s books as they are also interesting but you know that the ending will more or less be happy. I’m a sucker for happy endings..:). Thanks for the review.

    • UK libraries are great, aren’t they πŸ™‚ Her writing makes m think.. and pushes me out of my comfort zone, in a lot of ways… I have hardly read any Nora Roberts – I should do.

  9. You’re certainly piqued my interest here. The problem with good writers who review the work of authors they love is that they often let their personal liking spill over into their review. Result: the book sounds more appealing than it is! It’s not what I’d call my preferred ‘type’ of book, but based on your review alone I’m tempted to give it a try. If it turns out to be faux-feminist propoganda, I’m coming back to get you!

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