Review: Sing You Home by Jodi Picoult

Sing You Home

by Jodi Picoult

Zoe Baxter has spent ten years trying to have a baby, and finally it looks as though her dream is about to come true – she is seven months pregnant. But a terrible turn of events takes away her baby and breaks apart her marriage to Max. In the aftermath she throws herself into her career as a music therapist. When Vanessa, a guidance counsellor, asks Zoe to work with a suicidal teen, Vanessa and Zoe’s relationship moves from business to friendship and then, to Zoe’s surprise, blossoms into love.

When Zoe allows herself to start thinking of having a family again, she remembers that she and Max still have frozen embryos they never used. Max, meanwhile, has found peace at the bottom of a bottle, until he is redeemed by an evangelical church where the pastor has vowed to fight the ‘homosexual agenda’ that threatens traditional family values. This mission becomes personal for Max when Zoe and her partner want permission to raise his unborn child.

Sing You Home is an honest and moving story of contemporary relationships and the consequences of love and desire colliding with science and the law. From tragedy to self-discovery and joy, Zoe, Vanessa and Max will realise the undeniable truth – that you can’t choose who you love.

You can find the accompanying soundtrack here.

We meet the main characters in this book; Zoe, Vanessa and Max, when Zoe is seven months pregnant, Max and Zoe are happily married and eagerly awaiting the arrival of this treasured and most longed for baby. Vanessa and Zoe are business acquaintances who have met through Zoe’s work as a Music Therapist for the sick, dying and autistic. Max and Zoe have come to rely very heavily on each other due to a combination of feeling isolated from other married friends who have already had children and also from the financial constraints of repeated IVF attempts.

The story begins as Zoe is heading off to her baby shower, where her closest acquaintances have gathered to welcome her baby, however soon after the start of the shower Zoe experiences trouble and is rushed to hospital where she loses the baby. The stress and turmoil of yet another sad outcome of a pregnancy soon tears Max and Zoe apart, and they seek a divorce. In Zoe’s pain and fog of the loss, she meets Vanessa and they soon become friends, this friendship quickly develops into a loving relationship, much to everyone’s surprise.

In the mean time Max has discovered God, and joins a church that his brother attends, that has very strong views on same sex relationships, no matter how committed they may be, and regardless of the fact that many heterosexual relationships end in divorce. The story focuses on the girls’ relationship for awhile and the angst that this relationship and change in Zoe causes Max. The story then develops into a real struggle of the two side of the ‘Believer’s’ debate, the Atheist (or agnostic) verses the Believer.  There are many quotes from the Bible that are bought in, to either support same sex families, as well as to oppose them. There are lots of scenes in the court rooms, with the usual anger and name calling thrown in. And regardless of which side you support you will find that you are nodding your head in agreement with all of the arguments that Jodi Picoult has introduced.

And continuing in Jodi’s trademark theme, the story chops and changes, you think you will guess the outcome, but then new circumstances are introduced that leaves you wondering if you were right. The ending is fantastic and I feel that it finished the best possible way that it could.

I feel that this is up there as one of Jodi’s best books and I would highly recommend it!

Published by Allen and Unwin

Pages : 466

Recommended Retail Price $32.99

Recommended Age: 18+

My Rating: 4.5/5


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