Jodi Picoult novels tend to follow a prescribed formula, consisting of a family crisis, a legal showdown, an unexpected twist and a provocative social issue.  Unsurprisingly, Sing You Home is no different.  The novel follows Zoe Baxter, who faces infertility, a stillborn baby, divorce, her first lesbian relationship, a second marriage, and then a court battle for the rights to her frozen embryos.  All in approximately six months.  Meanwhile, her husband struggles amid death, divorce, alcoholism, a religious conversion, infidelity and an unobtainable lover.

Picoult pioneers an innovative combination of the arts in her use of literature and music…

Sing You Home is certainly an eventful and busy novel which can, at times, feel rushed and overwhelming.  However, the main triumph is its characters who, despite the bustling storyline, are believable and endearing.  While many of Picoult’s bestsellers, including My Sister’s Keeper, revolve almost entirely around the court case, the legal battle between Zoe and Max is not the main focus of Sing You Home. This makes a refreshing change and allows the reader to understand and envisage the characters in other circumstances.  We are invited to observe blossoming relationships from several perspectives and can develop a genuine attachment to these multi-dimensional characters.

Picoult explores current issues, such as gay rights, Evangelical Christianity, and reproductive science…

Picoult pioneers an innovative combination of the arts in her use of literature and music.  Sing You Home is accompanied by ten songs, one for each chapter of the novel, which are composed by both Picoult and her close friend Ellen Wilbur.  Ellen flawlessly sings the voice of Zoe Baxter as she copes with the turbulent changes in her life, providing an insight into this character.

Picoult explores current issues, such as gay rights, Evangelical Christianity, and reproductive science.  While her own opinions on these issues are discussed in-depth on her own website, the novel presents a non-judgemental and balanced view throughout.  This makes for a thought-provoking and inspiring book which is guaranteed to keep you reading.

If you want to check out the tracks that accompany the novel then click here.

4 Stars

Image courtesy of Jodi Picoult

 

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