Book Review – Sing You Home by Jodi Picoult

   Title:  Sing You Home

Author:  Jodi Picoult

ISBN:  9781439102725

Publisher:  Atria

 

Synopsis (from BN.com): 

Every life has a soundtrack. All you have to do is listen.

Music has set the tone for most of Zoe Baxter’s life. There’s the melody that reminds her of the summer she spent rubbing baby oil on her stomach in pursuit of the perfect tan. A dance beat that makes her think of using a fake ID to slip into a nightclub. A dirge that marked the years she spent trying to get pregnant.

For better or for worse, music is the language of memory. It is also the language of love.

In the aftermath of a series of personal tragedies, Zoe throws herself into her career as a music therapist. When an unexpected friendship slowly blossoms into love, she makes plans for a new life, but to her shock and inevitable rage, some people—even those she loves and trusts most—don’t want that to happen.

Sing You Home is about identity, love, marriage, and parenthood. It’s about people wanting to do the right thing for the greater good, even as they work to fulfill their own personal desires and dreams. And it’s about what happens when the outside world brutally calls into question the very thing closest to our hearts: family.

 

My thoughts:  Wow!  Wow!  and Wow!  To be completely honest with you, I purposefully put off reading this book since it came out in October because the main character was a Music Therapist.  As a Board Certified Music Therapist (MT-BC) myself, I didn’t know if I was ready for an author’s portrayal of my profession, my career, and my field – one that is not often written about and one that is most certainly misunderstood.  I wasn’t sure if I was ready to take the chance that the author misrepresented my profession and fed into the public stereotype that music therapy is simply some woo woo, new age, touchy feely profession where music therapists sit around and play Kum Ba Yah all day!

After reading the book, I can’t believe I waited so long.  This book was FABULOUS!  This was the first book I have ever read by Jodi Picoult and if the rest of her books are in any way like this, I will be working my way quickly through the other 17 books that she has written.

I found this book riveting and frankly couldn’t put it down!  Would it not have been 2 am, I would have just stayed up and read it in one night!

As for her representation of the profession of music therapy!  Kudos to you Jodi Picoult!  This author clearly did her research on the profession and presented it professionally and accurately with a number of populations including memory impaired adults and children with burns in a hospital.  Her portrayal was definitely a breath of fresh air.

As for the rest of the book, simply amazing.  Jodi Picoult is known for tackling very tough, often controversial topics in her novels.  Sing You Home was no different.  This book addresses, music therapy, infertility, miscarriage, gay rights, gay marriage, divorce, family, addiction, evangelical Christianity, you name it, this book has it.  In fact, a part of me almost wished that she would have handled a few less topics in this book, as the more topics there were the more it seemed a bit contrived and unrealistic like she was just trying to talk about as many topics as she could get in the book.

In a question and answer with Jodi in the back of this book, she mentions that she really doesn’t like to “put herself” and her feelings into her books.  I am not certain that this in fact was the case with this particular novel.  I would guess that she had a difficult time letting herself out of this book.  Jodi herself is a gay rights activist and in fact mentioned during a recent reading/signing that I attended that her son came out to her in his college admissions essay.  To this end, I found that Jodi tended to set up evangelical Christianity as the big bad monster in this book and portrayed it only from one side of the coin, a very narrow, limited focus indeed!

What I loved about this book, and what I assume I will love about all the rest of Jodi Picoult’s books, is that it automatically made you stop and think, to evaluate where you are on the controversial, debate-worthy topic du jour!  You find yourself saying, “What if?  Would I?  Could I?”

A great book and I look forward to many more novels in the future.  Don’t miss this one!

And remember,

Books Are Life,

Heather

 

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1 Comment

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One response to “Book Review – Sing You Home by Jodi Picoult

  1. I really enjoyed reading your thoughts on this book. If you haven’t read any other books by Picoult yet, some of my favorites are Handle With Care, My Sister’s Keeper, Nineteen Minutes, and House Rules.

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