Book Review: Singing You Home by Jodi Picoult
Zoe is a forty year-old music therapist and music lover who desperately wants to be a mother. However, she and her husband have failed to have a child due to infertility and failed attempts at vitro fertilization. After a third miscarriage leads to divorce, Zoe thinks she will never have a child. Then, an unexpected friendship blossoms into a new kind of love and another chance at a family. Yet, some people don’t want that kind of love or family to exist.
One of the things that hooked me to this novel was how realistic, relatable, and diverse the main and supporting characters were. They aren’t all good or all bad; they are just human beings. For instance, Zoe, one of the main characters, is a natural in her career. Yet, she is a learner when it comes to her personal life. Furthermore, having characters of different ages (i.e. teens, children, and older adults) made the motifs and themes universal.
Another thing that is well done about the novel is the research. With the clash of homosexuality and religion being a sensitive topic, it is easy for an author or anyone to become biased and one-sided. Although the author’s stance is made clear in the book, she presents homosexuality and religion in a fair and honest light using a variety of sources.
Besides the characters and the research, the themes and motifs made the story very poignant. Some themes such as family and identity are obvious, while music and memory as a motif are a little scattered. A personal favorite motif is music, which is connected to romance, comfort, and hope.
In addition to the themes and motifs, there is a pretty good sense of humor sprinkled throughout the book, particularly with Zoe and her partner Vanessa. Some lines made me laugh out loud! One such line was on the very last page of the book and reads, “Sammy says he was so dumb, he thought M & M’s were really W’s.”
While there are many positive aspects to the novel, there were a few loose threads at the end. I wanted to know what happened to certain supporting characters, but their fates were unresolved because the author focused only on Zoe and Vanessa. It felt like the author was in a hurry to wrap things up. Even though Zoe and Vanessa were the main focus of the book, it doesn’t feel right to have some of the supporting characters pushed aside when they were so well fleshed out.
Overall, this was an amazing read. I couldn’t put it down and now, it has become my new favorite book. I will definitely be reading other books by this author (this was my first one). I personally recommend this book to people who like adult fiction about social issues.