Sing You Home

Author: Jodi Picoult
Pages: 480
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!]


  1. I really felt though that people who don't already agree with her on these issues aren't going to change their minds from this book (which I felt was her intention) so in that case it doesn't work. I read another review from someone who is Christian who was highly offended by the portrayal of Christians. My thoughts are that by making such a huge deal of the same-sex couple, she did the opposite of normalizing it, which I wish I read more of (it just being normalized). Does that make sense?

    I will say that I think the movie version of the book that Ellen DeGeneres is making has the potential to be really good.

  2. Jenny- I hear what you're saying and I would love to see gay couples normalized in literature AND everywhere else. Unfortunately that's not how LIFE is right now. Maybe one day my partner and I could adopt or get married but it's not an option.

    As for the Christians who were upset... I found the pastor to be quite sympathetic at times and his reaction with his step daughter was a multiple-layered emotionally reactive decision. The lawyer was a jerk, but he had another agenda as a hardcore right politician.

    Bottom line is I think most of the characters were three dimensional and not just caricatures of their *belief*.

    And also commenting via iPhone is hard! Lol.

  3. I'm so excited about this one...I actually own it. So I can discuss it with you eventually :p It made me so happy when I heard what this book was about. Did you know The Trevor Project picked this as their first book club book?


Talk to me!