Time constraints have taken a serious toll on my reading the past few months, and it took me several weeks to read my third book for The Jodi Picoult Project, Sing You Home, published in 2011. I picked up this book whenever I had a few minutes to spare, in various spots and locations, around the house, in my yard, waiting in my car, and I even did some reading outside one tranquil evening on a bench at the local arts center.
Since I purchased a used copy of this book on Amazon, it did not come with a CD, and I didn't download the soundtrack. But, I never felt as if I needed the music to read or understand the book (like the author herself, I love music and listen to it while I drive, but not when I'm reading or writing; I'd find that too distracting, although I could probably read with low, classical music playing in the background.) Now that I'm done with the book, I may try to listen to the music, a collaboration between Jodi Picoult and singer Ellen Wilber, "the voice of Zoe".
"When I tell people I'm a music therapist, they think it means I play guitar for people who are in the hospital--that I'm a performer. Actually, I'm more like a physical therapist, except instead of using treadmills and grab bars as tools, I use music. When I tell people that, they usually dismiss my job as some New Age BS."
~Sing You Home, Jodi Picoult
In Sing You Home, Zoe Baxter is passionate about her career as a music therapist. Through her job, Zoe meets a high school counselor, Vanessa Shaw, who wants her to work with a deeply troubled student, Lucy. Zoe desperately wants to have a child, but has been very unlucky in this regard, in spite of extensive fertility treatments, and her marriage to Max suffers tremendously as a result. That's nearly all I can say about this book without needing to add a major spoiler alert!
Best-selling author Jodi Picoult writes with her usual arresting honesty and sensitivity in this book, which features a love relationship between two women. Set in Rhode Island, the author once again uses multiple perspectives to tell a story from all sides, and there's a legal battle as well. (I think Ms. Picoult would make an excellent lawyer; all the research she's done for her books would help her pass the Bar and win cases.) In Sing You Home, we get the three perspectives of the main characters, Zoe, Max, and Vanessa, which provide an absorbing and well-rounded look at the complex issues and questions presented in the book, such as: who would make the best parents for a child? (In my opinion, the best parents are simply people who truly want to raise and nurture children.) She does not resort to stereotypes about gay people, but depicts them instead as unique individuals who deserve the same rights as everyone else. At times I felt that the born again Christians in the novel were drawn in a stereotypical fashion, complete with holier-than-thou attitudes, but Max's brother's wife, Liddy, ultimately helps to balance this aspect of the book.
As promised, now that I've completed this reading challenge, I'm hosting a celebratory giveaway, for a $25 "Jodi Picoult Project" gift card from Amazon (good on anything sold by Amazon). This giveaway is international.
- To enter this giveaway, simply leave a comment.
- For another chance at winning, become a follower of this blog, or let me know that you're already a follower.
- If you've participated in this reading challenge, you will get an extra chance for each book you've read and posted on (please indicate the number in your comments). This reading challenge runs until the end of October.
- For an additional chance, post about this contest on your blog, Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter.
Enter by 5 PM PST on Monday, November 5. One winner will be selected randomly and announced on Tuesday, November 6. Good luck, and as always, thanks for reading!