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Sing You Home: A Novel Hardcover – March 1, 2011


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Atria Books; Har/Com edition (March 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439102724
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439102725
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.5 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (637 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #208,668 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Popular author Picoult tackles the controversial topic of gay rights in her latest powerful tale. When music therapist Zoe Baxter’s latest pregnancy ends in a stillbirth, her husband Max decides he can’t handle any more heartbreak and leaves her. As she picks up the pieces of her life, Zoe is surprised to find herself falling for a school counselor who happens to be a woman. While Zoe is finding happiness with Vanessa, Max falls off the wagon and is helped by a pastor from his brother’s evangelical church. Vanessa and Zoe wed in Massachusetts, and Vanessa offers to carry one of the fertilized embryos Zoe and Max stored. Excited by the prospect of being a mother, Zoe goes to Max to get him to release the embryos to her and is shocked when he instead sues her for custody of them, backed by his church. Told from the perspectives of all three major characters, Picoult’s gripping novel explores all sides of the hot-button issue and offers a CD of folk songs that reflect Zoe’s feelings throughout the novel. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: The always topical Picoult plans a multimedia tour to more than two dozen cities with Ellen Wilber, who will perform the songs she and Picoult wrote together. --Kristine Huntley

Review

“Powerful. . . Gripping.” —Booklist

“Sing You Home deftly personalizes the political, delivering a larger message of tolerance that's difficult to fault.” —Entertainment Weekly

“An immensely entertaining melodrama with crackerjack dialogue that kept me happily indoors for an entire weekend.” —USA Today

“[Jodi Picoult] has crafted another winner. . . Picoult cleverly examines the modern world of reproductive science, how best to nurture a child and what, exactly, being a family means.” —People

“Thouroughly satisfying. Sing You Home truly sings.” —BookPage

“Sing You Home is the book that we, as gay men and woman, will want to hand to our straight friends, neighbors, co-workers, and family members. I’m not saying Picoult is a savior for the gay movement, but she’s created a record of our time.” —Edge (Boston, Chicago, Atlanta, Miami, and Los Angeles)

“Picoult treats all sides of this complex morality tale with honesty and dignity, which is what readers have come to expect from her.” —St. Louis Post-Dispatch

“Determinedly life affirming, with designs on the heart.” —Newark Star-Ledger

More About the Author

I grew up on Long Island with my parents and my little brother, the product of a ridiculously happy childhood. My mom says I've been writing as long as she remembers - my first masterpiece was "The Lobster That Was Misunderstood," at age 5. I honed my writing skills beyond that, one hopes, before I headed off to Princeton, where I wanted to work with living, breathing authors in their creative writing program. Mary Morris was my teacher/mentor, and I really do believe I wouldn't be where I am today if not for her guidance and expertise. I had two short stories published in SEVENTEEN magazine when I was in college. However, when I graduated, a desire to not eat ramen noodles exclusively and to be able to pay my rent led me to take a job on Wall Street (not a great idea, since I can't even balance my checkbook). When the stock market crashed in 1987, I moved to Massachusetts and over the course of two years, worked at a textbook publishing company, taught creative writing at a private school, became an ad copywriter, got a master's in education at Harvard, got married, taught at a public school, and had a baby. My first novel was published shortly after my son was born, and I've always said that the reason I kept writing is because it's so much easier than teaching English.

In fourteen years, I've published thirteen novels: Songs of the Humpback Whale, Harvesting the Heart, Picture Perfect, Mercy, The Pact, Keeping Faith, Plain Truth, Salem Falls, Perfect Match, Second Glance, My Sister's Keeper, Vanishing Acts, and the upcoming The Tenth Circle, this March. Two of my books (Plain Truth and The Pact) were made into Lifetime TV movies; Keeping Faith will be another. My Sister's Keeper is in development at New Line Cinema to be a feature film. And there isn't a single day that I don't stop and marvel at the fact that when I go to work, I get to do what I love the most.

My husband Tim and I live in Hanover, NH with our three kids, a dog, a rabbit, and the occasional donkey or cow.

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Customer Reviews

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  • "Writing" 108
  • "Characters" 99
  • "Emotional" 57
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

162 of 171 people found the following review helpful By zelda_murphy on March 13, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I am an avid Jodi reader but must admit I was a little nervous when I found out she was writing a book about such a controversial subject, the Gay community. I came from an extremely conservative family and grew up being `anti-gay'. The past few years I have become more neutral on the subject, not being passionate one way or the other about the subject. I just finished Sing You Home and I have a completely new perspective on the LGBT community. I never realized all of the battles they encounter and never realized the extreme measures people have taken to hold this community back from basic civil liberties. This book has made me realize the reality and prejudice that is occurring everyday in the world around me. Who would have thought that a fictional book could have such a dramatic impact on my outlook on life and humanity? Thank you Jodi for writing such an accurate and honest portrayal of the unfortunate injustice engrained in our society.
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311 of 336 people found the following review helpful By My2Cents TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 28, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Jodi Picoult is one author well known for writing about controversial issues. Her latest novel, Sing You Home, is sure to evoke strong emotions among some of her readers. The novel encompasses such diverse issues as, gay rights, evangelical Christian beliefs, in vitro fertilization, suicidal teens, divorce, discrimination and even music therapy. The essence of the story is told in alternating chapters from the points of view of three primary characters.

Zoe Baxter, has longed to be a mother. She's approaching 40 years of age, has been married to Max for nearly 10 years, and the couple has been unsuccessful at bringing a child of their own into the world. Zoe has had several miscarriages, and her last pregnancy resulted in a stillborn birth. After undergoing IVF (in vitro fertilization), spending thousands of dollars, and experiencing one disappointment after another, Zoe still has not given up hope. Her husband Max, on the other hand, is through.

Max is a recovering alcoholic. He cannot endure the thought of more attempts at conception, and he wants out. Max files for divorce and he slowly slides back into drinking once again. When he is involved in an automobile crash while under the influence, he soon realizes he needs to change his life. He moves in with his brother Reid and his wife. Reid suggests that he come to their church, The Eternal Glory Church, and listen to their pastor, Clive Lincoln speak. The pastor happens to be a radical fundamentalist with an anti-gay agenda.

Meanwhile, Zoe throws her emotionally wounded self into her work as a Music Therapist, working with hard to reach individuals. She is asked by Vanessa, a school counselor, to work with a suicidal teen girl.
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111 of 124 people found the following review helpful By Kelly Houser VINE VOICE on February 28, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I almost don't know how to start this review. I am a Jodi Picoult fan girl through and through. I have been waiting for Sing You Home since I closed the covers of House Rules. Given those facts, you'll probably be totally shocked when I say that I 100% loved this book. Or not shocked at all.

Where do I start with Sing You Home? Picoult's writing, of course. When I read a Jodi Picoult novel, I encounter sentences I wish I had the brilliance to write myself. I get lost and tangled up in the people she creates and the scenarios she details. Picoult can break my heart into tiny pieces and then put me back together within a few pages. Her novels make me smile, they make me laugh, and often, they move me to the point of tears. Her writing is beautiful without being sappy; detailed without being overdone; masterful without being pretentious; amazing in a way I can't even describe.

So, I obviously like her writing style, but what else? Let's talk about her characters. Although this does go back to Picoult's writing style, it never fails to amaze me how one person can write in so many voices. What do I mean? Picoult's novels are general told by multiple narrators. In the case of Sing You Home, there are three primary narrators: Zoe Baxter, Max Baxter, and Vanessa Shaw. It's incredible to me how one author can make each of those narrative voices so completely unique. Reading a chapter that is narrated by Zoe is a completely different experience than reading a chapter narrated by Vanessa. It provides so much more insight to the characters to read the experience as told by them, rather than be told how that character is feeling about a situation by a third person narrator.

What was so delightful and heartbreaking about Sing You Home was that I loved all the characters.
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183 of 227 people found the following review helpful By cait VINE VOICE on March 3, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Music therapist Zoe Baxter and her husband Max, want desperately to have a child and all their failing attempts are starting to take a huge medical, financial and emotion toll on their marriage. When she suffers a heartbreaking stillbirth well into her last pregnancy, it is the final straw for the marriage and Max walks out of the house and out of their life together. Dealing with both these losses, very depressed, Zoe finds herself turned around by the friendship of a counselor at one of the schools she works at, a friendship that turns quickly (perhaps too quickly to be really believable) into a romance. Add to that the fact that her new love is a woman, Vanessa.
Quickly (maybe too quickly again) married in Massachusetts, the couple decides to get use the frozen embryos Zoe and Max have in storage to try and have a baby together, with Zoe's new spouse carrying the child. But when she goes to Max to get permission, she finds herself in the middle of a court case, being sued for custody.

While I admit I have not read a lot of Ms. Picoult books, I totally loved My Sister's Keeper...and not just for the amazing ending. So when I read that she had a new book coming out, and the topics sounded so interesting, so timely, I was thrilled to get my hands on a copy. I opened the package and started reading it immediately.
Rarely have I been so disappointed in a book. Not for the controversial subject matter, no, not at all!

On Zoe's side, the characters are almost saints, noble, good, selfless people. Even her lawyer, who will soon be getting a halo no doubt, is just such a nice person. How can you not agree with her? Zoe and Vanessa are so nice, how can we not want them to win?
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