Ann's Reviews > Sing You Home

Sing You Home by Jodi Picoult
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's review
Nov 30, 11

bookshelves: recommended, fiction
Read in November, 2011

There was an interesting story here: What happens when each half of a divorced couple wants ownership of embryos that contain their genetic material -- and to raise any ensuing children according to hir own moral code?

"Sing You Home" does not answer that question.

Instead, the book is stuffed with 101-level arguments for and against a number of "controversial" political stances: gay marriage and adoption, church vs. state, homophobia, atheism, blah. I've given these issues a lot of thought over the years; I don't need a fictional devil's advocate to help me make up my mind. [see also: why I never watch "Law & Order"]

I don't think the book was organized particularly well. Picoult should have stuck with just one narrator. Having three allowed her to write from three very different perspectives, to the detriment of the story.

Also, the implied trope of the novel -- using music to heal -- was simply abandoned for a solid half of the book (replaced by, again, "controversial" courtroom scenes) and barely showed up at all in 2/3 of the (narrators') chapters. That didn't make any sense at all. I mean, it's in the title; shouldn't it be a bigger deal?

And here's a petty thing: A photo of Picoult took up the entire back cover of the book jacket, and her name was much larger than the title on the front of the book. I hate it when they do that.

I gave this book two stars instead of one because it did get me thinking about the purpose of the devil's advocate, whether we need it for every argument (conclusion: often it's better to be just a regular advocate and leave the dissent to the people who already disagree), and the subtle differences between wanting others to not let their prejudices interfere with the way they treat you and just plain wanting them to change their minds. So it wasn't a complete waste of time.
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