5 May 2011

Becky's Book Review #3 - Sing You Home by Jodi Picoult

Book: Sing You Home
Author: Jodi Picoult
Genre: women's fiction
Star Rating: 3.5/5

General Description
Zoe is happily married to her husband Max and after years of trying for a baby is about to get her wish, when tragedy strikes. In the aftermath of this, she and Max split up and Zoe discovers exactly what it means to love someone - particularly when it's not someone you expected to fall in love with. Several years later, Zoe remarries and wants to use her IVF frozen eggs to try to become pregnant again - only now Max has turned to evangelical Christianity and doesn't want her to use the eggs - for what happens next... you'll have to read the book!

I bought this book when I was home sick with the flu and I have to say that it was perfect to curl up with whilst I was feeling crap. I liked Picoult's usual trick of telling a tale from several different angles, which really fleshes out a plot - and prevents you from falling down on one side or another in judgement. I like the way she wasn't afraid to tackle moral and ethical dilemmas - and to present the different sides respectfully, regardless of the personal politics of the author or reader (ie: i'm very liberal but I didn't feel forced into keeping my liberal stance through out the book).

I also liked the musical element to the book - Zoe is a music therapist and I loved the way she used music with her patients, it really was incredibly touching. In addition, this book is really clever because
 - and I thought was a genius idea - there is a soundtrack that comes with the book. Basically at certain points in the book you can go to a website and download a song written speshly for the book. I loved this and really helped me get a feel for the mood of a character at a given time. To be honest, I'm surprised this isn't done more with books - although I guess copyright issues could be limiting.

So to wrap up, if I liked it that much, why did I only give the book 3.5/5? I did that because it's not my favourite Jodi Picoult novel - and it seemed a little formulaic - particularly the ending which I thought was rather predictable. Some of her books do seem to be written by numbers - her most recent ones for sure. This doesn't take away from their absolute page turning readability - which this one definitely has - but I think it just doesn't quite have the spark that her earlier books did. I think perhaps she's given us too many points of view and thus watered down her characters a little. 

All in all a good solid work from Jodi Picoult, with interesting, thought provoking plot lines - but not my favourite!

If you like.......
Other Jodi Picoults, Anne Tyler, Elizabeth Berg, Alice Hoffman, The Memory Keeper's Daughter, Joanna Trollope, women's fiction
....then you'll like this

Why You Might Like This Book
It's told from several points of view
It challenges your thinking on several rather sensitive issues (for some) including IVF, same sex marriage + relationships, equal rights, evangelical Christianity being the key ones
It's got a soundtrack that you can download and listen to at certain bits of the book
It's a page turner
The characters are really likeable, even with their flaws.
It's written with what I call, a light touch. Picoult very much `shows` rather than `tells` her readers what's happening.

Why You Might Not
You're sensitive around baby loss/IVF and simillar issues
You have very strict views around same sex/gay marriage and don't want to challenge these
You're looking for something very intellectually stimulating (not that this isn't a challenging read but it's not `hard`)
You don't like women's fiction
You don't like `emotional` type books (this book made me cry)

Have you read this Jodi Picoult? Or any of her others? What did you think? Please let me know your comments below!

Thank you and good night

Stupidgirl has left the building


  1. Excellent review! I do tend to find Picoult's books formulaic and samey, I must admit, so I don't seek them out.

  2. Some of them are very formulaic but some are excellent. My favourites are:
    Harvesting the Heart
    Songs of the Humpback Whale
    Keeping Faith

    All beautiful and worth a read!

    Thanks for commenting lovely
    SG x