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Every life has a soundtrack. All you have to do is listen.

Music has set the tone for most of Zoe Baxter’s life.  Read more...


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Every life has a soundtrack. All you have to do is listen.

Music has set the tone for most of Zoe Baxter’s life. There’s the melody that reminds her of the summer she spent rubbing baby oil on her stomach in pursuit of the perfect tan. A dance beat that makes her think of using a fake ID to slip into a nightclub. A dirge that marked the years she spent trying to get pregnant.

For better or for worse, music is the language of memory. It is also the language of love.

In the aftermath of a series of personal tragedies, Zoe throws herself into her career as a music therapist. When an unexpected friendship slowly blossoms into love, she makes plans for a new life, but to her shock and inevitable rage, some people -- even those she loves and trusts most -- don’t want that to happen.

SING YOU HOME is about identity, love, marriage, and parenthood. It’s about people wanting to do the right thing for the greater good, even as they work to fulfill their own personal desires and dreams. And it’s about what happens when the outside world brutally calls into question the very thing closest to our hearts: family.

  • ISBN-13: 9781439102725
  • ISBN-10: 1439102724
  • Publish Date: February 2011

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Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2010-12-06
  • Reviewer: Staff

Picoult's overstuffed latest (after House Rules) is stretched just to the breaking point. Max and Zoe's marriage, stressed by infertility problems and miscarriages, is finally destroyed by a stillborn baby. After their divorce, Max moves in with his brother and sister-in-law, Reid and Liddy, and backslides into self-destructive drinking, while Zoe devotes herself to music therapy (the book is accompanied by a CD in Zoe's voice, with awkward lyrics by Picoult) and develops a friendship with guidance counselor Vanessa that eventually turns into love and marriage. Max, meanwhile, converts to an evangelical brand of Christianity that pits him against Zoe when she asks Max for permission to use their frozen embryos. Max's discomfort with Zoe's same-sex relationship and his desire to repay Reid and Liddy, who have their own fertility problems, mean a legal battle looms. Picoult abandons her usual efforts to present an equal view of both sides of an issue—Max is a pitiful right-wing puppet; Zoe, Vanessa, and their attorney are saintly—but her devoted fans will nevertheless find everything they expect: big emotion, diligent research, legal conflict, and a few twists at the end. (Mar.)

BookPage Reviews

Picoult and the music of life

The seemingly unstoppable Jodi Picoult delivers another heart-wrenching page-turner in Sing You Home, a stirring exploration of same-sex couples’ reproductive rights. Fast-paced and three-dimensional, the novel does justice to this pivotal civil rights issue, and Picoult again proves herself the queen of heartfelt social statement.

Forty-year-old music therapist Zoe Baxter and her husband, Max, have tried to have a child for nine years. When their fifth in-vitro fertilization attempt ends in a stillbirth, Max files for divorce, unwilling to try fathering a child again.

Backsliding into alcoholism, Max moves in with his brother, Reid, and sister-in-law, Liddy, who are also struggling with infertility. Confidence at rock bottom, Max comes under the influence of the charismatic, ultraconservative Pastor Clive at Reid’s evangelical church. Meanwhile, Zoe develops a close friendship with high school guidance counselor Vanessa Shaw and, to her own surprise, falls in love with her.

Zoe and Vanessa marry, and when they discuss the possibility of parenting, Zoe remembers that three frozen embryos remain from her last round of IVF with Max. When Zoe asks Max for consent to obtain them, a heated court battle erupts in which Max tries to prevent the “pre-born children” from being brought into Zoe and Vanessa’s “sinful” household. Coached by Pastor Clive and a media-drunk attorney, Max wants Reid and Liddy to be awarded the embryos instead.

Told from the perspectives of Zoe, Max and Vanessa, the story takes beautiful shape as Zoe’s loving but troubled relationship with Max falls apart and her tender one with Vanessa begins. Included with the book, a CD of songs performed by “Zoe” (with lyrics by Picoult) adds further dimension to the novel. The born-again Max sometimes verges on cartoonish, but his complicated relationship with his sister-in-law and his memories of marriage to Zoe pull his character back from the brink. At the same time, Picoult’s deft weaving of past and present gives Zoe and Vanessa engrossing depth from start to finish, and readers will be hard-pressed to put the book down before that finish comes. Thoroughly satisfying, Sing You Home truly sings.

BAM Customer Reviews