Thursday, 18 April 2013
What I've Been Reading:
'Sing You Home' by Jodi Picoult
This might possibly be my favourite read of this year so far. 'Sing You Home' is the first of Jodi Picoult's novels that I've read, she's just not a writer who is on my radar, you know? But a couple of months ago two of the women I work with were discussing this novel and the subject seemed close to my heart. And so I tracked down a copy and put it straight on my must-read list. I expected to leave it languishing on my bookcase, un-read for months but the subject matter just kept calling to me and I couldn't resist starting it. And I'm so, so glad that I did.
Music therapist, Zoe Baxter is desperate for a baby. It's the one thing she has always known will make her feel complete. And yet she has struggled through fertility problems, failed IVF, miscarriages and stillbirth. When Max, her husband of nine years divorces her, citing irreconcilable differences as the cause for the dissolving of their commitment to each other, Zoe is distraught. Her whole life has been turned upside down and she doesn't know how she is going to start over.
Until she meets Vanessa, a Guidance Counselor at the local High School. First as friends and then as lovers, Zoe and Vanessa can't imagine life without each other. They are the missing parts of each other. And yet there's only one thing missing in their perfect relationship. A child. Three frozen embryos left over from Zoe and Max's last round of IVF could hold the answer to fulfilling Zoe's dream of motherhood. But when your ex-husband has joined a gay-bashing Evangelical church, how do you convince him to let you raise his un-born child with your new lesbian wife?
Jodi Picoult immerses her reader in a world where being who you are means being hated, where falling in love can mean changing your whole perspective on life and your identity. She opens up the hidden world of the lesbian marriage and lets those on the outside see just how difficult it can be when your lifestyle will never be the accepted norm. She paints a tale of two very strong women, fighting for justice, for the family that others would deny them. And she doesn't hold any punches.
This novel had me close to tears at so many points. Not only did I identify with Zoe and Vanessa on such a personal level, but I also had a strong connection with the character of Lucy, a suicidal, depressed teen who Vanessa and Zoe are trying to save, to turn around through guidance and music.
There's something for everyone in this book and I swear you'd have to have a heart of stone if the story didn't resonate on some level, didn't bring a tear to your eye or a gasp to your throat at some point. I'll definitely be checking out more of Jodi Picoult's books in the future.