Sing You Home – Damn You Pregnancy Hormones

I’ve already mentioned how I’ve read every Jodi Picoult novel besides Songs of the Humpback Whale, and after finishing up House Rules the other day . . . I was still in a Picoult mood, so I immediately jumped on her latest novel Sing You Home. I honestly had no idea what I was getting myself into. I don’t even think I read the back cover. So, I had no idea what to expect.

This novel comes with a CD. In between each chapter, it allows you to play the specific song so that you are able to use music to feel your way through the novel. This makes perfect sense after starting the novel and realizing that the main character, Zoe Baxter, is a music therapist. Zoe is married to Max and they are currently 27 weeks pregnant at the start of the novel. Their relationship seems like a good one and everything seems to finally be going well for Zoe even though she has had trouble getting pregnant in the past and has even had two miscarriages before this pregnancy. The reader quickly finds out that Zoe and Max have struggled with fertility on both sides and have had to go the IVF way to have a child.

During Zoe’s baby shower, she begins to have massive cramping and bleeding and by the time they arrive at the hospital, there is no heart beat to be found and she must deliver a still born child. It is after this baby is born that the novel really begins to flow. Zoe finds out she has blood clotting issues that might be causing these pregnancy issues as well as causing issues with her health. And when she still would like to continue with her IVF options, her husband (devastated by the loss of their child) refuses and files for divorce.

Max moves in with his extremely religious brother and his wife (who coincidently also have fertility issues) while Zoe slowly gets back on her feet doing music therapy for a severely depressed girl at a local high school and quickly becomes friends with the school counselor, Vanessa. As the months pass and Vanessa saves Zoe’s life . . . Zoe realizes that she has fallen in love with Vanessa and they head off to Massachusetts to get married. While this is happening, Max has become a born again christian who is slowly falling in love with his brother’s wife.

The novel reaches it’s superb climax right where a climax needs to hit (literally 50% into the novel) when Zoe and Vanessa decide they would like to use the three frozen embryos from Max and Zoe’s original harvest. Vanessa will carry the child full term (because Zoe is unable to), all they need is Max’s permission. The novel quickly turns into a religious debate when Max refuses to sign off on the release of the embryo’s and instead would like to see his possible children grow up a “traditional christian family.”

Like any other Picoult novel, the reader definitely sees the inside of a court room. But, in this case, the story is more about the characters (Zoe, Max, Vanessa) and less about the lawyers. In fact, we don’t even get the lawyer’s point of view in this novel . . . which was kind of refreshing. But, that also might just be because I absolutely hated Max’s intolerant lawyer and would have stabbed myself in the eye if I had to listen to his inner hateful thoughts.

Some parts were predictable and others not so much. She hasn’t really had a good “twist” ending lately and it also seems like her last few novels have been rushed at the end. Like, she spends all her time getting you invested in the characters and what the outcome of the story might be . . . and then she just drops you at the end and tries to tie everything up in a nice big bow. If she could have just gone one more chapter in, I would have been even more excited about this book. But, all in all it was a pretty good read. There were a lot of tears involved, but I think it had a lot to do with my pregnant hormones so don’t mind me.

I also liked that she did a lot of research with her claims. There are a lot of bible verses that deal with homosexuality in this novel. And it was refreshing to not see the “go to” Leviticus verse. It was also wonderful to see the Leviticus chapter get ripped to shreds in one fast paced monologue by Zoe’s lawyer.

Check it out and let me know what you guys think of it.

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