One miscarriage too many spelled the end of Max and Zoe Baxter's marriage. Though the former couple went quite separate ways, their fates remained entangled: After veering into alcoholism, Max is saved in multiple senses by his fundamentalist conversion; Zoe, for her part, finds healing relief in music therapy and the friendship, then romantic love with Vanessa, her counselor. After Zoe and Vanessa, now married, decide to have a baby, they realize that they must join battle with Max, who objects on both religious and financial grounds.
Pages: 496 (hardback)
Rating: 9 out of 10
Source: Checked out from the public library
The only thing I had been reading since the beginning of the year was bar exam study materials; one of the many reasons I was excited to be finished with the test was the chance to read again. While we were on vacation, Partner's aunt and uncle were able to watch the Little Lady while I pumped. As a result, I got to read!
Sing You Home by Jodi Picoult is the selection for the March meeting of the Partners and Professors book club. The book is a good read for when you are hungry for a good story. I did not know much about the plot before I began. I watched an interview that Picooult did with Ellen Degeneres about how some of the proceeds from book sales were going to the the Trevor Project.
My favorite thing about the book was how the lives and relationships between the characters illustrated that love makes a family. The contrast between what is assumed for heterosexual couples and what must be proven for same sex couples is striking. Instead of being preachy, the point is made simply by getting inside the characters' heads as they grapple with various hurdles.
I also appreciated that none of the characters were one dimensional. When I think of religious zealots who attack homosexuals, picket abortion clinics, or who constantly try to push their religious world view on others, I get VERY upset. One thing I learned from the novel is that even within the religious community there are different degrees of how to practice, judgment, and methods of making a point. While it is not my world view, I could relate to Max grappling with wanting to belong to the church community and accepting their beliefs while feeling a connection to his ex-wife.
I wish that the ending had been a bit stronger. I love sweet and happy endings, but the ending of this book did not fit as well with the rest of the novel. I wanted the story to be unpacked a little more. Although, I think that would have made a pretty hefty book much longer. I am looking forward to our book club discussion to see what everyone else thought.
This is my first full read of 2012 and I hope that enjoy the rest of the books I read this year as much or more than this one!
I am counting the book for the following challenges: