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Sing You Home by Jodi Picoult

Sing You Home (edition 2011)

by Jodi Picoult

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2,2361174,310 (3.7)56
Title:Sing You Home
Authors:Jodi Picoult
Info:Washington Square Press (2011), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 496 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

Sing You Home by Jodi Picoult

  1. 00
    A Seahorse Year by Stacey D'Erasmo (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: 'Sing you home' and 'A seahorse year' are domestic fiction and psychological fiction about lesbian couples.
  2. 00
    Seven Moves by Carol Anshaw (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: If you enjoy 'Sing you home', you might also enjoy 'Seven moves'. Both are Psychological fiction about lesbian couples.

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» See also 56 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 117 (next | show all)
Suggested by Amy
  roniweb | May 30, 2019 |
This book is written in Jodi Picoullt's distinctive style. It has all the familiar themes she uses so well. I liked it alot. I have only read this and My Sisters Keeper by her and I think I will be reading more of her books. ( )
  EliseLaForge | Nov 20, 2018 |
This book dealt with a lot of different issues. Typical Picoult, controversy courtroom = serious story. This novel had a lot of different subject matter in it though. It dealt with subjects like miscarriage, stillbirth, abortion, religion, suicide, depression, divorce, alcoholism, tolerance, and sexuality. There are even more subjects that I could mention, I just can't think of them right now.

It was interesting in the sense that she was able to tie all of these different subjects together in one novel, (and that it wasn't much longer in the process of doing that.) I enjoyed that the end of this story actually had a tangible resolution, since after reading House Rules I had felt a little let down at the lack of serious resolution. I don't like to be left hanging, and this novel didn't do that to me.

I like the idea of a music CD to accompany the story, but in this case I didn't really feel a connection to the music and the story. Maybe it was because I tried listening to the tracks at the appropriate breaks in the novel itself. It's a new idea, and fit very well, since the main character is a music therapist. It might have eve worked without music therapy being the occupation of the main character. I can think of instances where I've read other books and music has come to mind. It makes perfect sense, because when you think of movies, they are just books set in motion, and they have soundtracks to go along.

I probably should have just listened to the CD after reading the novel but I don't think that I will. I'd like to just leave it as is.

This is a book that shows just how much people can change. And how they aren't always who or what you expect them to be. ( )
  Melissalovesreading | Sep 30, 2018 |
Once again another great read from Jodi Picoult. I love how she lets each of the main characters share the story from their own point of view, I think this adds a lot of dimension to the story and also makes you think more about what you would do in their shoes. She always chooses issues that are prevalent in our society to write about and I think many people can relate to them or at least leave with a better understanding and possible tolerance of them. My personal favorite part of the book is the end...you gotta love a happy ending. ( )
  loftuskm89 | Aug 8, 2018 |
Wonderful story ( )
  Patula | Jun 4, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 117 (next | show all)
Where to begin? This book is full of so much emotion that it was hard to not feel swayed one way or another. As someone that works for an Evangenical church, I found this book very hard to digest but not because of the 'anti-Christian' context, because of the 'Christian' context. I guess I am one that falls outside the box when it comes to religion. Believing that a person has a right to choose how they live their lives without it affecting my day-to-day life.

Having also gone through minor infertility issues myself, I found Jodi Picoult's account of the feelings and emotions involved with each failed cycle to be bang on. Understanding the devastation that parents/partners go through is so hard to describe and she did it beautifully.

While I will never be able to fully wrap myself around the 'same-sex' issues (because I haven't dealt with them first or really, second, hand), Sing You Home, has made me realize that there are people out there who struggle each and every day just to get by in a world that is unaccepting, a world that judges/hates/bullys, a world that is cruel. I hope that this book hits home in some of those 'unaccepting' people and makes them realize that it really isn't about them... it's about us.

Overall, this book was wonderfully written and hit home on each and every basis of the story. Never going to far one way or the other and showing each side of the 'story' fairly and accurately (sadly). Another great book by a great author!!
Picoult, who's created a cottage industry out of family melodrama and medical controversies, has crafted another winner in this story about music therapist Zoe Baxter and her decade-long struggle to become a mother....Picoult cleverly examines the modern world of reproductive science, how best to nurture a child and what, exactly, being a family means.

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Jodi Picoultprimary authorall editionscalculated
Schumacher, RainerÜbersetzermain authorsome editionsconfirmed
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No man has a natural right to commit aggression on
the equal rights of another, and this is all from which
the laws ought to restrain him.
For Ellen Wilber
For Kyle van Leer
First words
One sunny, crisp Saturday in September when I was seven years old, I watched my father drop dead.
The past is nothing but a springboard for the future.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
From http://www.jodipicoult.com/sing-you-h...
The story behind Sing You Home

My first crush was on a boy named Kal Raustiala when I was in second grade. He had shaggy, leonine hair and a pet iguana and a jungle gym in his basement. Although I didn't really know why at the time, my heart beat faster near him. When he wasn't around, I wanted to be with him. And when I was with him, I never wanted to leave.

At no point prior to falling hard for Kal did I choose to be attracted to a boy. It just sort of happened, in the way that love often does: naturally, instinctually, and whole-heartedly.

After college, I had a friend who, like me, was naturally, instinctually, and whole-heartedly attracted to boys. His name was Jeff. My roommate and I spent many Friday nights with Jeff and his partner Darryl, catching the latest movies and dissecting them over dinner afterward. Jeff was funny, smart, a technological whiz. In fact, the least interesting thing about him was that he happened to be gay.

Gay rights is not something most of us think about – because most of us happen to have been born straight. But imagine how you'd feel if you were told that it was unnatural to fall in love with someone of the opposite gender. If you weren't allowed to get married. If you couldn't adopt a child with your partner, or become a troop leader for the Boy Scouts. Imagine being a teenager who's bullied because of your sexual orientation; or being told by your church that you are immoral. In America, this is the norm for millions of LGBTQ individuals.

Those opposed to gay rights often say that they have nothing against the individuals themselves – just their desire want to redefine marriage as something other than a partnership between a man and a woman. On the other side are same-sex couples and their friends and families, who argue that they deserve the same rights as heterosexual couples. The result is a country bitterly divided along the fault line of a single, contentious issue.

People are always afraid of the unknown – and banding together against the Thing That Is Different From Us is a time-honored tradition for rallying the masses. I've noticed that most people who oppose gay rights don't have a personal connection to someone who is gay. On the other hand, those who have a gay uncle or a lesbian college professor or a transgendered supermarket cashier are more likely to support gay rights, because the Thing That Is Different From Us has turned out to be, well, pretty darn normal. Instead of plotting the demise of the traditional family, as some politicians and religious leaders would like you to believe, gay folks mow their lawns and watch American Idol and videotape their children's dance recitals and have the same hopes and dreams that their straight counterparts do.

When I started writing SING YOU HOME, I wanted to create a lesbian character that readers could truly get to know. Zoe Baxter is a woman who – along with her husband Max – has been trying to get pregnant for years. After many failed IVF attempts she finally conceives – only to lose the baby. The tragedy is the final nail in the coffin of her strained marriage, and she and Max divorce. To cope, Zoe throws herself into her career as a music therapist. When Vanessa, a guidance counselor, asks her to work with a suicidal teen, their relationship moves from business to friendship and then – to Zoe's surprise – blossoms into love. As she begins to think of having a family again, she remembers that there are still frozen embryos at the IVF clinic that were never used by herself and Max.

Meanwhile, Max has drunk himself into a downward spiral – until he is redeemed by an evangelical church, whose charismatic pastor has vowed to fight the "homosexual agenda" in America. But the mission becomes personal for Max when Zoe and her same-sex partner ask permission to raise his unborn child.

What does it mean to be gay today, in America? How do we define a family? Those are two questions I hoped to answer while writing SING YOU HOME. I began by speaking to several same-sex couples, who shared their relationships and their sex lives and their struggles. Some of these people knew their sexual orientation in childhood; some – like Zoe – had same-sex relationships after heterosexual ones. Then I interviewed representatives from Focus on the Family, a conservative Christian group that supports the Defense of Marriage Act, opposes gay adoption, and offers seminars to "cure" gay people of same-sex attraction. Like Pastor Clive in my novel, their objection to homosexuality is biblical. Snippets from Leviticus and other Bible verses form the foundation of their anti-gay platform; although similar literal readings should require these people to abstain from playing football (touching pigskin) or eating shrimp scampi (no shellfish). When I asked Focus on the Family if the Bible needs to be taken in a more historical context, I was told absolutely not – the word of God is the word of God. But when I then asked where in the Bible was a list of appropriate sex practices, I was told it's not a sex manual – just a guideline. That circular logic was most heartbreaking when I brought up the topic of hate crimes. Focus on the Family insists that they love the sinner, just not the sin – and only try to help homosexuals who are unhappy being gay. I worried aloud that this message might be misinterpreted by those who commit acts of violence against gays in the name of religion, and the woman I was interviewing burst into tears. "Thank goodness," she said, "that's never happened." I am sure this would be news to the parents of Matthew Shepherd, Brandon Teena, Ryan Keith Skipper, or August Provost – just a few of those murdered due to their sexual orientation - or the FBI, which reports that 17.6 percent of all hate crimes are motivated by sexual orientation, a number that is steadily rising. And it's not just in the US: in Iran, Mauritania, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Yemen, and parts of Africa, being gay is punishable by death.

Yet as eye-opening as all this research was, something happened during the writing of SING YOU HOME that truly made the subject hit home. My son Kyle, a brilliant, talented teenager, was applying to colleges while I was working on the book. One day, he brought me his finished application to read.

The essay was about being gay.

Did I know Kyle was gay before he came out in his essay? Well, I'd had my suspicions since he was five. But it was his discovery to make, and to share. I wasn't surprised, but I was so happy for him – for being brave enough to be true to himself, and to admit that truth to his family. My husband gave him a huge hug. Kyle's little sister shrugged and said, "So?" And his younger brother still calls to task those who carelessly say, "That's so gay," reminding them it's not a pejorative term.

Learning that Kyle was gay didn't change the way I felt about him. He was still the same incredible young man he'd been before I read that essay. I didn't love him any less because he was gay; I couldn't love him any more if he weren't. In the aftermath, I saw him blossom, finally comfortable in his own skin, because he wasn't living a lie anymore. Yet, as a mom, I had my worries – not because of Kyle's sexual orientation, but because the rest of the world might not be as accepting as our family. Because one day, when he least expects it, he's going to be called a "faggot." Because – simply due to the way his brain is wired – life is going to be more complicated.

Kyle is now a sophomore at Yale University – which has a thriving gay community and a culture of acceptance. His boyfriend is a smart, sweet guy who has accompanied us on vacations and who makes my son incredibly happy. Still, it breaks my heart to know that, unlike Kyle, there are teenagers today who cannot come out to their parents because of deep-seated prejudice -- which is too often cloaked in the satin robes of religion. Gay teens are four times as likely to attempt suicide as straight teens. I wish they knew that there's nothing wrong with them; that they are just a different shade of normal.

If I had any one great hope for SING YOU HOME, it would be to open the minds of those who have them closed tightly shut against those who are different – so that one day, my son's children will live in a world where being gay does not mean you're denied the 1138 federal rights automatically guaranteed by marriage. I hope they are just as puzzled as I am now when I see old photos of racially segregated schools and water fountains, and I wonder how could it possibly have taken so long for this country to come to its senses? I hope the religious leaders of their generation focus on the best literal interpretation of their Bible: Love your neighbor as yourself. But most of all, I hope that SING YOU HOME reminds people that while homosexuality is not a choice – homophobia is. Why not opt for tolerance and kindness instead?

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A stillborn baby ends Max and Zoe's marriage. Max leaves Zoe and turns to drinking. Zoe falls in love with a female school counselor, Vanessa. Max finds help for his drinking problem through his brother's church. Vanessa and Zoe get married. Vanessa offers to carry one of Zoe and Max's fertilized embryos. Zoe goes to Max to get permission to release the embryos to her but Max's new found religious fervor leads him to sue Zoe for custody.… (more)

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