SING YOU HOME – Jodi PicoultBy Lee Peoples | July 5th, 2011 | Category: Book Reviews, Fiction | No Comments »
Sing You Home, Jodi Picoult’s 2011 bestseller, explores the question of same sex parenting. As always, her themes are about issues that can negatively impact the family structure. In this case, Picoult deals with the issue of in vitro fertilization, same sex marriage and adoption, religion, teen suicide, and others.
Zoe is a music therapist. “. . . some believe that our response to music is proof there’s more to us than just biological and physiological mechanics—that the only way to be moved by the spirit . . . is to have one in the first place” (19).
She helps so many people with her music therapy, but when in the seventh month she loses the child she and her husband Max have worked so long to conceive in their nearly ten years of marriage, her career begins to flounder and her marriage falls apart. Max, a recovering alcoholic, can no longer endure the many attempts and failures he and Zoe have made at bringing a child into the world and files for divorce.
Meanwhile, Zoe immerses herself in her music therapy when a school counselor asks her to work with a suicidal student. From mere colleagues, Zoe and Vanessa become friends, then lovers, then married partners.
At the center of the action is the fight over three fertilized embryos that remain from Zoe and Max’s marriage. Zoe and her new partner Vanessa want to have a child and Max wants to give the embryos to his brother and sister-in-law who also have been unable to successfully bring children into the world. Thus, a court battle ensues.
Included with the novel is a CD with 10 tracks of original songs inspired by the novel. The music is by Ellen Wilber; the lyrics are by Picoult; and the songs are performed by Ellen Wilber. A dedicated fan of Jodi Picoult, I have read all eighteen of her novels; and while I cannot count this as one of her best, I enjoyed it and recommend it. I still find it difficult to believe the ease with which Zoe goes from heterosexual to lesbian. I do, however, admire the ease with which the author handles such controversial topics. She is a consummate researcher.