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Staff recommendations and reviews from the Plainfield Public Library

Sing You Home by Jodi Picoult

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Picoult’s characters are always so complex, which allows the reader to see both sides of whatever controversial topic she is writing about, and Sing You Home is another example of a complicated story where things aren’t always what they seem.

After the stillborn birth of their son, Max and Zoe Baxter’s marriage has finally reached its breaking point when Max files for divorce. There is no more money to sink into another round of in vitro, and Max feels that him and Zoe no longer want the same things.

Max deals with his emotional grief through alcoholism, but eventually finds Jesus and is “saved” by the Evangelical church his brother Reid and sister-in-law Liddy have been members of for fifteen years. Zoe, a music therapist, finds solace in a same sex relationship with Vanessa Shaw, a high school counselor who has introduced Zoe to students that could benefit from her therapies.

Zoe knows she can never have kids, but Vanessa can, and there are still three frozen embryos from when Max and Zoe were married. She just needs him to sign a release. Zoe’s gay relationship does not sit well with Max and his church, so instead he files suit against Zoe for full possession of those embryos, which he intends to give to his brother and sister-in-law, who have not been able to conceive naturally.

Sing You Home was a little slow going at first, but as usual, I get so emotionally attached to the characters that I can’t wait to get to the resolution, hoping things will work out in the end. For me, the book really picked up pace during the court proceedings. Even though this isn’t my favorite by her, Picoult is very good at mirroring real life, where nothing is ever black and white.

Also, I should mention that the book comes with a music CD which is supposed to be Zoe’s voice, but I never listened to it. I was to engrossed in the story to be bothered!

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