Tue 12 November 2019
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You are here: Home > Young Writers' Hub > Blog > Review: Sing You Home by Jodi Picoult
Review: Sing You Home by Jodi Picoult
Jodi Picoult is not one to shy away from controversial subjects and "Sing You Home" is no different writes Abigail Newton

Sing You Home 
by Jodi Picoult
Hodder & Stoughton, 448pp


Jodi Picoult is not one to shy away from controversial subjects and "Sing You Home" is no different. Subjects Picoult has previously used range from high school shootings to organ donation after capital punishment. In "Sing You Home" Picoult writes about a homosexual couple using IVF to have children as well as the influence religion has on the legal system. The influence for this novel is said to have come from Picoult's son recently coming out as gay. 

In the novel Picoult uses a split narrative, a technique she has used in previous novels. Its used to great effect in "Sing You Home" as it enables the reader to gain a deeper into the character narrating. Also, it allows the novel and it's characters to become more personal to the reader which is important with such a sensitive topic. Picoult also sticks to her usual court room drama which is understandable as it has proven so successful for her. However, at times it felt tedious and repetitive. The structure and plot was also familiar and felt like one of Picoult's other novels. The ending seemed fairly obvious which may leave readers disappointed. For "Sing You Home" Picoult teamed up with composer Ellen Wilber to create a soundtrack for the novel. This also links to one of the character's jobs as a music therapist. The songs are available for download to be listened to alongside reading the novel. This is a nice touch and is particularly effective. 

"Sing You Home" starts towards the end of Zoe Baxter's pregnancy with husband Max. The reader learns that this isn't the couples first pregnancy and that they're running out of time, options and for Max patience as he becomes lonelier. Devastatingly, Zoe loses the baby causing problems between her and Max resulting in their divorce. Zoe finds solace in best-friend and, later, lover, Vanessa whilst Max turns, first, to alcohol and then religion. Zoe and Vanessa get married and hope to start a family using one of Zoe's eggs that she had fertilised with Max's sperm when they were going through IVF. However, they need Max's permission but now he is a member of the church, same-sex couples raising children.

Abi Newton is a young writer based at Cardiff Metropolitan University. 

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