I always like Picoult's books - they are complex, suspenseful, and beautifully detailed. I loved the way in "My Sister's Keeper" the conflicts of issues sort of snuck up on the reader, so you became interested in the characters first, then their issues.
With "Sing You Home" the agenda is laid out almost before you read the first word, and it just fees like the characters are secondary. Even though this book is as elegantly written as any of her best novels.
Also, we have the Picoult formula going on - one genuine "page turner" plot line, with a secondary plot line going along for the ride. At critical points in the primary plot line, Picoult exasperates the reader with an abrupt seque to the secondary plot line. This becomes beyond annoying, and I keep fast-forwarding because in this case, the "other" story is simply not interesting.
I am only giving this novel a 3 because of the musical interludes which I found intrusive. It's unfortunate, because so much of Picoult's work is full of richly-drawn characters, meticulous detail and sparkling dialogue, and this book is no exception. I just wish the music had been left out. Do these agendas really need to be amped up any further?
I spend a lot of time commuting and listening to GOOD books helps me through all the traffic jams. This was not a GOOD book - it was FABULOUS. Jodi Picoult is well known for not shying away from controversial issues. This latest novel is no except and will surly evoked strong emotions for her readers as it did I. The novel covers such various issues as, gay rights, evangelical Christian beliefs, in vitro fertilization, suicidal teens, divorce and discrimination. The story is told in alternating ???tracks??? from the points of view of three primary characters; Zoe, Max and Vanessa.
The author presents a powerful story about what is a family, and why committed gay couples should be seen no differently from straight couples when it comes to marriage and raising a family. In addition to writing this story Picoult and long time friend Ellen Wilbur wrote 10 songs inspired by Zoe's work as a music therapist, and the songs are reflective of her feelings throughout the novel. In the audio version each song precedes each chapter or Track. I cannot recommend this book highly enough -- a must listen
Let me just say that I have really loved Jodi Picoult in the past and was really excited to see this on Audible. I have always felt Jodi went to great lengths to develop her characters and their stories. Unfortunately this book just went off the cliff. And the songs at the beginning of the chapters..... really, Jodi? I can sum this book up for you. Homosexual = Compassionate, loyal, loving, and honest. Christian = Hate-filled, oppressive, manipulative, liar. That's really what you need to know. The whole time I listened to this book I kept waiting for her to diverge from these blatant stereotypes, but she never did and then the whole thing got wrapped in 30 seconds in a nice, rosy little package. VERY disappointing, especially given her unique talent to give depth to people who aren't easy to understand (or sympathize with) in the first place.
The book description falls short on the content of this book. Had I known how much Christian Evangelical content I would have to listen to and to a constant barrage of gay retoric I would have to endure, I would have returned this book had it not been for the fact I purchased it as part of a three for two credit deal and I was stuck with it. Neither the description given nor the sample eludes to a story of Gays vs Christian. I am neither Gay nor Christian and found the content irritating. While I congratulate Jody for her creative work adding music to the book, I found myself fast forwarding through the music because it was not my kind of music.
The story and reading of the story by the three readers was fabulous. However, I did NOT like the music. I did not like her voice, the music, the words or the volume. I was excited to hear the music because Jodi Picoult herself asked us to hear the music and to put the context into the stoory, but I had to fast forward through the songs ultimately.
I enjoyed the story and found the characters to be believable and sympathetic but the songs drove me up the wall. Goofy lyrics and nails-on-chalk-board singing.
The songs were dreadful. The plot had holes a mile wide. I'm still a Picoult fan, but don't waste a credit on this one.
I liked the book. It was interesting and the characters were realistic and well developed. I predicted the ending but that didn't take away from its enjoyment. I cried a few tears. That's a good thing. I was moved. Except for the music! Horrible. If you can, skip over those singing tracks. Yuck.
This was not as good as some of her previous books, The plot went on and on and the songs were a distraction. Interesting issues and topical to our time but predictable characters.
i love picoult's books but perhaps her prolific writing is affecting the quality. this really took the cake. the story was so mediocre; i realize the issue is important and is good fodder for a story, and i do believe those characters exist, but they were so stereotypical!!! every one a cliche! for shame. i cannot believe she would use such generalizations to form her characters. on top of all of that, the singing was just awful. i finally had to skip through all the songs. really? what was that all about? that was a terrible idea and at the very least, could you have found a less amateur singer.