This was my first Jodi Picoult. I'd always thought her books were tear-jerkers and that's not a genre I enjoy. I did not cry while reading this book. My heart beat fast at times and I was on the edge of my seat, trying to fathom where it would all lead and how it would end. The first 50 pages had me skeptical, I have to admit, because it seemed like it was going to be a story about a woman in a not-so-great marriage with stresses, particularly the stress of not being able to get pregnant. Soon, though, as additional aspects of the plot caused it to deepen, I found myself very intrigued by the thought-provoking ideals of the characters in the story. At first, I didn't care for the fact that each chapter was told from a different character's point of view (and in a different font!), but I started to appreciate the voice of each character when each change occurred. Once finished, I found myself researching Jodi Picoult and reading some of her interviews and info about Sing You Home. I am an advocate for marriage being the love and relationship between two people who care deeply for each other and want to share their lives together, regardless of their gender. I also am challenged in comprehending with totality the fact that many religions press upon their congregation in (what sometimes appears to me) as a manipulative way. This book touched upon so many controversial topics, as well as the line between church and state and I highly recommend it as a thought-provoking and conversation-starting read!
From my blog:
I don't know how she continues to do it, time and time again. Picoult just has a knack for creating characters that you love (and hate!) and storylines that are chock full of so much depth and emotion that you can't stop reading until you know what the outcome is. Sing You Home will probably be one of the most controversial books she's ever written. There are so many questions that she explores in this book (from her website):
* What does it mean to be gay in today's world?
* How reproductive science has outstripped the legal system
* Are embryos people or property?
* What challenges do same-sex couples face when it comes to marriage and adoption?
* What happens when religion and sexual orientation - two issues that are supposed to be justice-blind - enter the courtroom?
* What constitutes a "traditional family" in this day and age?
I'm sure just reading through those thought-provoking questions, you had a knee-jerk, strong response to one or more of them. I think we all do. And that's the point of this book. To explore those questions. Picoult isn't afraid to tackle the tough social issues. But she does it in a way that is honest, really capturing the essence of each side of the argument. Of course, she throws in a couple of characters that you loathe - the stereotypical "crazy" religious lawyer and the pastor with his own agenda who is pushing Max to do some things he is not entirely comfortable with. But, with those characters aside, I think Picoult did an excellent job capturing both sides and laying out the story the way she did.
The story is told from 3 perspectives - Zoe, Max, and Vanessa. At the beginning of each section, the reader is told who will be narrating and the font-type is different for each character, which is a fantastic idea! Each character is developed extremely well. Picoult is able to capture the essence of each character, with appropriate backstory and supplemental characters, to really give the reader a true picture of who Zoe, Max and Vanessa really are.
The narrative flowed like a movie in my mind. Hollywood - are you reading this? I could seriously picture this movie on the big screen. Picoult takes the reader step by step through each phase of the book. There are no odd time shifts or parts of the narrative that seemed out of line to me. The only thing that I took issue with is how quickly Zoe and Vanessa's relationship developed. I'm not sure, after being with Max for nine years, that someone could realistically work through all of that and fall in love with another person that quickly.
In case you couldn't tell, I thought this book was amazing. I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a good story, with lots of controversy! No matter which side of the issue you fall on, this book will give you something to talk about.
This is a moving, heartfelt, emotionally-packed novel that will keep you riveted until its stunning conclusion!
This book deals with so many topics:
Infertility and its treatments
Loss of a child
Same-sex relationships and marriage
Evangelical religious beliefs
Definition of when life starts - a child v. an embryo
Definition of a family
Exploitation by special interests of a family situation
The characters and the writing is compelling. I wanted to know what happened, and the book did elicit emotion in unexpected places. However, I wish there weren't quite so many topics touched upon. Any one topic in and of itself could have made a compelling story. It was a little difficult and overwhelming to find them all in one. Some situations reached a resolution at the end of the book, and some (one in particular but I don't want to put in a spolier) were left hanging.
This is one of the books by Jodi that I really loved. I find it sad that other reviewers couldn't put away their homophobia and see the beauty of the story. As always Jodi makes us think, and examine not only what we think and feel but what others with different views might think and feel about an issues. And as is always true with a Picoult book, there is a nice plot twist.
I was going to say if you dont want a gay character as a big part of the story , skip this book, but if your mind is still open, you might want to read it anyway.
I just finished reading this book tonight and I thought it was wonderful. It keep you on a rollercoaster ride throughout. Homosexuality is something that is coming more and more into the public limelight. This book helps you understand it is not a choice, it is something genetic and people need to be more tolerant. The story was touching and I couldn't have asked for a better ending. My only criticism was the bashing of conservatives, which I considered author intrusion. It became annoying after the first few times. Otherwise, I highly recommend this book