Book Review: Sing You Home

Sing You HomeSing You Home by Jodi Picoult
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I've found Jodi Picoult's books a little hit and miss in the past, and this is the first I've read in a while. I picked it up based on a friend's recommendation, and soon saw why they'd labelled it a must-read. There is nothing heavy-handed about Picoult's treatment of two big issues: gay parenting and choices about IVF and embryos (or, as the annoying lawyer insists on describing them, 'pre-children').

Her two heroines, Zoe and Vanessa, are warm, realistic, lovable but not-too-perfect characters, whose lives and choices we come to understand, not only through their present-day interactions, but through some superbly chosen moments of memory. I particularly liked the fact that we are even led to understand how Zoe's ex-husband, Max, becomes vulnerable to the homophobic church group that ultimately leads him to oppose Zoe in court for possession of the embryos that were frozen during their marriage.

Another fabulous strand of the story is Zoe's career as a music therapist. Although I knew the profession existed, I knew very little about the job, and reading this book gave me a fantastic picture of how music can be used to help people who are emotionally and physically in pain.  If I was a bit more musical, I think I'd be tempted to retrain and follow in Zoe's footsteps.

All in all, this is a thoughtful, many-layered, absorbing rollercoaster of a book which had me both laughing and crying out loud.

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