Saturday, March 12, 2011

Sing You Home

Sing You HomeSing You Home by Jodi Picoult
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

When I first discovered Jodi Picoult a few years ago, I could not get enough of her and to this day, I still count "19 Minutes" and "My Sister's Keeper" as two of the most riveting books I have ever read. "Sing You Home" is written in classic Picoult style - the story is told from multiple perspectives, it's about a controversial topic that has been in recent headlines, it involves a court case, and of course, a quick twist at the end. Picoult's style is actually why I stopped reading Picoult books. I started anticipating her twist before she got there, and her desire to push the proverbial envelope got annoying.

I confess though I started to miss how engrossing her books can be. Plus I am a sucker for books written from multiple perspectives. So, when I saw that her new book had come out, and that it was about a music therapist and a school counselor, I decided to give it a go. I should have read the book review a bit more closely because I did not have a complete picture of Picoult's controversy flavor of the year.

"Sing You Home" is the story of a married couple whose marriage falls apart amidst multiple failed pregnancies and IVF treatments. Max finds solace from his broken marriage and his alcoholism in a fundamentalist Christian church. Zoe finds her solace in her work (again as a music therapist) and in a woman named Vanessa who is a counselor at a local high school. After Zoe and Vanessa cross state lines to get married, they decide to have a baby using frozen embryos from Zoe's previous fertility treatments. Of course, Zoe and Vanessa need Max's approval, and a lawsuit spearheaded by Max's church in Max's name ensues.

I am not in love with this book, though in true Picoult style, I could not put it down. After writing devastatingly beautiful passages about losing a baby and the changes that take place in both Max's and Zoe's life, I felt like Picoult rushed the last third of the book. She established new interests and plot elements without actually developing them, and suddenly, the story was simply over. The book gets three stars when it probably only deserves two and a half for the fact that I was so into the book that I finished it in a three days.

Long story short - if you're not a Picoult reader, don't start with this one. If you are a Picoult reader, just don't expect fireworks. This isn't her best though the topic is interesting and deserves our attention. Kudos to Picoult though for adding a musical component to this book by including a CD of original songs to accompany each chapter. Picoult wrote the lyrics and Ellen Wilbur wrote the music and sang the songs. It definitely added to the overall reading experience.

1 comment:

Kate said...

If you love books written from multiple perspectives, I hope you've read The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver. Very good.