Sing You Home by Jodi Picoult
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
To be honest, I have never picked up a Jodi Picoult book as I always thought she wrote romance novels which are not my literary thing. In the past few months I have joined a new book club and this was the first book I actually had time to read before I attend the club meeting, and at first I was not excited. Romance? Really? I decided to give Picoult a chance, picked it up on a Saturday and had it read by Tuesday night, staying up late one night due to sleeplessness and wondering what would happen to this book's characters during the turmoil of their lives.
(Warning: contains a few spoilers.)
The book begins with Zoe and Max, a married couple, both working full-time jobs and trying desperately to become pregnant and carry a baby to term. A fifth failure late in her pregnancy causes Max to leave the marriage as he feels second to Zoe's need to have children, a position he no longer wants to hold. While recovering from the break-up of their marriage and the end of another pregnancy, Zoe and Max take two very separate roads. Zoe finds and deepens a friendship with Vanessa with whom she begins dating and eventually marries, and Max joins his brother and sister-in-law's ultra-conservative Christian religion. Zoe and Vanessa decide to have a child, with Vanessa carrying the three zygotes that Zoe and Max made while they were married. Max is unsure what to do and confides in his religious leader who convinces Max to take Zoe to court to obtain the zygotes himself. A vicious battle over the zygotes ensues as we see the rights of two lesbian women legally married (in a different state from which they live), pitted against the forces of ultra-conservative Christian right-wingers whose belief structure slowly unravels in Max's head.
This is where I shall leave my review and encourage you to read this book. The tapestry of characters who share the narrative of the book (it moves between Zoe, Max and Vanessa) present lives that have intersected, separated and intersected once more. Much more than the romance (the ones that Picoult does not write), she takes the reader through a host of ideas and beliefs that people hold about challenging ideas, revealing the differing views of each person and their perspectives about life, love, self-understanding, legal rights and acceptance. A beautifully woven novel, but not always easy to read.
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