Title: Sing You Home
Author: Jodi Picoult
Pub: 2011; Atria
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Etc: Won book from Devour of Books
The Short of It
Who has the rights to embryos?
The Long of It
Max and Zoe, like many other infertile couples, spend years attempting InVitro. Each go around though, they end up disappointed, and Max finally says ‘enough is enough’ and asks for a divorce. Zoe is devastated.
Then let’s move forward, in an attempt to stay sober and get his life back together, Max joins his brother and sister-in-law’s evangelical church. Meanwhile, Zoe falls in love with Vanessa, a high school guidance counselor.
Things might have gone along smashingly…both exes doing their own thing. EXCEPT there still remains a couple of frozen embryos at the clinic and it was never settled in the divorce agreement whose property they were. Zoe and Nessa want to begin a family and need the eggs. Max wants to give them to his brother and sister-in-law, who also have fertility issues.
The Thoughts about It
Alrighty then! EVERYONE knows that when you pick up a Picoult book you’re planning on tackling an Issue. Her books are dramatic and fierce and pulls at your heart strings. I often refer to them as my Lifetime Movie books. There’s gonna be some CONTROVERSARY. And it’s usually done in such a wonderful way that even if you are absolutely devoted to one camp, you can kinda get the other side. (I did say kinda people because let my opinion be known – I do not believe that frozen ANYTHING prior to conception is a baby. In fact, I don’t think I necessarily believe that anything that cannot survive outside of the womb (read: 9 weeks preggers?) is a baby. Life begins at birth. *stepping down for soap box*)
So here are some of the Issues that are raised in Sing You Home:
- · Who gets the frozen wanna be babe?
- · Where does life begin?
- · What of same sex parents?
- · Depression and anxiety when you don’t fit in?
For the record I have OPINIONS about ALL of these topics, plus many more. I’ll refrain from going into them because I doubt that most of you care really.
BUT I do have to make a comment on how Picoult handles the relationship between Zoe and Vanessa. Can I just say, LOVE IT. Truly, it was written remarkably well. I love the fact that Zoe, who has OBVIOUSLY been attracted to men prior, points out that it’s ABOUT THE PERSON. Not only do I get that, I live it. Hands down awesome when Zoe told her mom. And the relationship was absolutely REAL. I mean, there’s even a bit of commentary about how roles need to be renegotiated because gender issues don’t exist. Man, Jodi Picoult is astute. Nothing is overlooked.
Plus her characters are thorough, full of faults. Which I lurve! Sure there were times I wanted to hit Max upside the hand but he wasn’t this caricature of a man who hits rock bottom. Max really is that guy.
Sing You Home. The highest praise I can give for this book is it’s a book you want to read WITH someone. I yearn for someone to discuss this book with. Why am I not a part of a book community in real life? Oh yeah, because not many people I know read. Such is another topic completely.
[ed. note - I was so passionate about the story itself I completely forgot to mention THERE'S A CD that goes along with the book. How cool is that? Each chapter has a song devoted entirely to it. Multimedia man, at its finest!]