Friday, April 01, 2011

New Book Review!

Anyone who knows me knows I love Jodi Picoult novels.  Is it great literature?  Definitely not.  It is fluff, but somewhat educated fluff and she's written about some really interesting and sometimes controversial issues, which I enjoy.  She has become somewhat of a machine, in that she cranks these things out for publication exactly once a year in March, so I wonder how that has affected the quality of her process.  The previous book from 2010, House Rules, I guessed the ending of way in the beginning and was kind of disappointed with the story.  Note to Jodi:  please do not attempt to write a first person account from the mind of a teenage boy with Asperger's Syndrome ever again. 

The current book, Sing You Home, was better, thankfully.

This is the story of a woman who has struggled with infertility and infant loss.  She gets divorced from her husband and ends up in a new relationship with a woman, who she marries and wishes to start a family with, using her own frozen embryos.  The ex-husband, who has since become a born-again Christian, is opposed to letting his children grow up in an "immoral family" and takes her to court.  A fantastical story perhaps, but not 100% unrealistic these days.  NOTE:  If you have dealt with infertility, miscarriage, infant loss, etc. this could be a difficult book to get through.

Some thoughts:

1 - I like that she got back to writing mostly from the female POV.  They always say "write what you know" and obviously this what she knows.  I did not, however, think she wrote accurately as a lesbian.  I'd be curious to hear a lesbian's opinion, but for me it didn't seem realistic.  A good effort, but fell a little short.
2 - I thought the issues she raised were timely.  I hear on the news that Gay Rights are our generation's Civil Rights, so this story put a lot of the struggled of gay couples into perspective.
3 - some of the reviews on Amazon criticize that Jodi portrayed Christians in a very negative light.  I disagree.  I think she happened to make her villains members of a small group of Christians that exist in this country because it was necessary for making the court battle realistic and pointed.  She did, however, show how all people can change and ask for forgiveness and learn to do the right thing, which is, you know, kind of important to the whole Christianity thing. 
4 - I liked almost all of the characters, even the very flawed ones.  For me, I will not be invested in a book unless I like who I'm reading about.
5 - Jodi is known for her twisty endings, even down to the last page or last sentence sometimes.  I didn't find the ending to be a big twist, though I thought she could have put one in to take it in a different direction.  This was a satisfying ending overall.
6 - If you are a fan of Jodi in general and enjoy her books about issue and involving trials, you should enjoy this one.  It isn't quite as strong as say.....The Pact or My Sister's Keeper.....but solid.  7/10.

1 comment:

  1. I love Jodi, I'll have to check this one out. Thanks for the heads up on that it might be difficult to get through, because of m/c.