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Sing You Home: A Novel Paperback – Oct 4 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 640 pages
  • Publisher: Atria Books; Export edition (Oct. 4 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1451620993
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451620993
  • Product Dimensions: 10.4 x 2.7 x 17 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 281 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #35,288 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

“Powerful. . . Gripping.” —Booklist

“Sing You Home deftly personalizes the political, delivering a larger message of tolerance that's difficult to fault.” —Entertainment Weekly

“An immensely entertaining melodrama with crackerjack dialogue that kept me happily indoors for an entire weekend.” —USA Today

“[Jodi Picoult] has crafted another winner. . . Picoult cleverly examines the modern world of reproductive science, how best to nurture a child and what, exactly, being a family means.” —People

“Thouroughly satisfying. Sing You Home truly sings.” —BookPage

“Sing You Home is the book that we, as gay men and woman, will want to hand to our straight friends, neighbors, co-workers, and family members. I’m not saying Picoult is a savior for the gay movement, but she’s created a record of our time.” —Edge (Boston, Chicago, Atlanta, Miami, and Los Angeles)

“Picoult treats all sides of this complex morality tale with honesty and dignity, which is what readers have come to expect from her.” —St. Louis Post-Dispatch

“Determinedly life affirming, with designs on the heart.” —Newark Star-Ledger

About the Author

Jodi Picoult received an AB in creative writing from Princeton and a master’s degree in education from Harvard. The recipient of the 2003 New England Book Award for her entire body of work, she is the author of twenty-one novels, including the #1 New York Times bestsellers House Rules, Handle With Care, Change of Heart, and My Sister’s Keeper, for which she received the American Library Association’s Margaret Alexander Edwards Award. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband and three children. Visit her website at JodiPicoult.com.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Cameron-Smith on April 6 2011
Format: Hardcover
Zoe and Max Baxter have spent ten years trying to have a baby. Despite infertility issues, and multiple miscarriages, it looks like their dream is about to come true - Zoe is seven months pregnant. But sadly, things do not go according to plan and she and Max divorce. Afterwards, Zoe throws herself into her career as a music therapist - using music clinically to soothe burn victims in a hospital; to help Alzheimer's patients connect with the present; and to provide solace for hospice patients. And then Vanessa, a school guidance counsellor, asks her to work with a suicidal teenaged girl. Vanessa and Zoe become friends, and then they fall in love and marry. Zoe and Vanessa would like to have their own family, and Zoe remembers that she and Max had three frozen embryos still in storage.

Meanwhile, Max has joined an evangelical church, whose charismatic pastor, Clive Lincoln, has vowed to fight the `homosexual agenda' which he considers threatens traditional family values in America. When Zoe seeks Max's permission for her and Vanessa to use the embryos so that they can have a child, Max, with the help of his church, goes to court to fight for ownership. Private matters become public while lifestyles are dissected and judged.

The story is told through the perspectives of Zoe, Max and Vanessa. While mainly focussed on relationships, it includes issues like alcoholism, cancer, infertility and intolerance.
I didn't enjoy this novel as much as most of the other Jodi Picoult novels I have read. Why? I think it is partly because so many different issues were packed into the story, partly because the ending felt contrived, and partly because I didn't care for most of the characters. And yet, the novel has worked: it's got me thinking about some of the issues involved.

What constitutes a family? `You can't choose who you love'

Jennifer Cameron-Smith
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Reader Writer Runner TOP 50 REVIEWER on May 30 2011
Format: Hardcover
When I refer to Jodi Picoult's work as "trashy fiction for snobs," I mean it as a compliment. True, her books border on formulaic (contentious topic + multiple voices + courtroom drama + final plot twist = happy ending) but she does write engaging prose about current, controversial issues. Sing You Home is Picoult's eighteenth novel (so she's doing something right!) and the fifth that I've read. It centers around music therapist Zoe Baxter who, in the span of six months, has a miscarriage, gets divorced, falls in love with her female best friend, remarries and fights in court for the rights to her own embryos. Geez, I thought I was busy baking, running, walking the dog and raising an infant! Predictable? Slightly. Corny? Absolutely. But also thought-provoking: at what point do two cells become an "unborn child?" Can a middle ground exist between atheism and fundamentalism? What does it mean to be a parent? And, perhaps most interestingly, how does one explain the healing power of music? After all, "there is no evolutionary context within which people's response to music makes sense...the only way to be moved by the spirit, so to speak, is to have one in the first place."
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mary Lavers TOP 500 REVIEWER on Feb. 9 2012
Format: Paperback
I sincerely love when authors--and, perhaps more accurately, publishers--expand their notion of traditional storytelling by writing a book that follows a slightly different format: novels in verse, illustrated novels for adults, stories that are told in a multitude of media. Sometimes the risk doesn't always pay off, but I really enjoy the effort. Jodi Picoult's novel, Sing You Home, falls into that category by being the first novel that I've read that comes with its own soundtrack. The book has a CD included that acts as a companion to the story being told.

The novel's main protagonist is Zoe Baxter, a music therapist who uses music in every aspect of her life, both professionally and personally. While the novel isn't really about music, the author felt that the reader should hear Zoe's voice, since the character uses music and singing so much. Jodi Picoult's good friend Ellen Wilber acted as the voice and musical composer behind all of the tracks on the CD.

While I don't think the novel really needed the soundtrack and the resulting CD is probably not one I would buy just to listen to, I really like the idea behind it. I like the multi-media approach very much. And the novel certainly isn't hindered by the music, even if it does stand up perfectly well on its own.

The story centres around Zoe's failed attempts at conceiving and carrying a child to term, followed by her divorce and subsequent remarriage to a woman named Vanessa. Her lesbian relationship and her attempt to find a way to have a child with her new wife brings a world of criticism from her community and her ex-husband Max, a recovering alcoholic who "finds Jesus" in the form of an anti-gay Evangelical Christian church.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Turning the Pages on Jan. 25 2012
Format: Hardcover
You can also read my review here: [...]

Where to begin? This book is full of so much emotion that it was hard to not feel swayed one way or another. As someone that works for an Evangenical church, I found this book very hard to digest but not because of the 'anti-Christian' context, because of the 'Christian' context. I guess I am one that falls outside the box when it comes to religion. Believing that a person has a right to choose how they live their lives without it affecting my day-to-day life.

Having also gone through minor infertility issues myself, I found Jodi Picoult's account of the feelings and emotions involved with each failed cycle to be bang on. Understanding the devastation that parents/partners go through is so hard to describe and she did it beautifully.

While I will never be able to fully wrap myself around the 'same-sex' issues (because I haven't dealt with them first or really, second, hand), Sing You Home, has made me realize that there are people out there who struggle each and every day just to get by in a world that is unaccepting, a world that judges/hates/bullys, a world that is cruel. I hope that this book hits home in some of those 'unaccepting' people and makes them realize that it really isn't about them... it's about us.

Overall, this book was wonderfully written and hit home on each and every basis of the story. Never going to far one way or the other and showing each side of the 'story' fairly and accurately (sadly). Another great book by a great author!!
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