Author: Jodi Picoult
Spoilers (and I spill the ending).
My first book review of March! I’m reviewing a new book that recently came out in bookstores.
Sing You Home is about Zoe Baxter, a woman who’s been trying for the last ten years to get pregnant with her husband Max. After many miscarriages and failed IVF attempts, it looks like Zoe’s dream is finally about to come true. But the baby is born a stillborn, and Zoe is devastated- more so than Max. Max feels like Zoe just wants a baby, and that she doesn’t love him anymore. So he flies for divorce.
After her divorce, Zoe begins spending a lot of time with Vanessa Shaw, a woman who went to her baby shower. Vanessa is a lesbian- and she’s known it since she was six years old. Soon Zoe and Vanessa become really close friends, and they do a lot of things with each other. Vanessa stores details of Zoe’s life in her brain. The first time they went to the movies, Zoe mentioned the snack she likes, and the next time they went to the movies, Vanessa knew what Zoe would order. Zoe was amazed.
Zoe and Vanessa quickly fall into steady routines with each other: shopping together, eating together, etc. One day when Vanessa is in San Fransisco for a friend’s wedding, Zoe picks up their dry-cleaning alone, and the owner of the dry-cleaning store- Ms. Chin- asks where her partner is. Zoe stammers, thinking Ms. Chin believes they’re dating, but in the end she just laughs it off.
Zoe- a music therapist- begins working with a suicidal teenager named Lucy DuBois. Lucy is a very rude teen, and their first session doesn’t go so well. For one thing, Lucy doesn’t seem to want therapy. During their first session, Lucy asks to use the bathroom and she does not return. Zoe is surprised at how disappointed she is about meeting with Lucy. She realizes she doesn’t want to disappoint Vanessa. Vanessa sits in on Zoe’s second session with Lucy, which doesn’t go any better.
After spending all this time with Vanessa, Zoe slowly realizes she’s in love with her. Vanessa accompanies Zoe to her mom’s house when she decides to come out to her. Zoe’s mom Dara is shocked- and makes a few lame excuses. She’s shocked, but she says she’s going to get used to it, and accept Zoe for who she is. Zoe and Vanessa go to the movies again, and Vanessa feels shunned when Zoe introduces her as a “friend.”
Zoe and Vanessa are out when Max sees them. After the introductions are made, Zoe tells Max she’s with Vanessa. She moves in with her and they begin a normal life together. And after awhile, Vanessa asks Zoe to marry her and Zoe says yes. They have to get married at a courthouse in Massachusetts because in Rhode Island- where they live- gay marriage isn’t allowed. Vanessa wears a white suit to the wedding, and Zoe wears an ivory sheath.
As far is work is going, Zoe is making some progress with Lucy. On their third visit, Zoe says that lyrics work well if they really connect to either the musician or to the listener. To kind of prove her point, Zoe writes a few sentences on a sheet of paper Mad-Lib style, and has Lucy fill in the blanks. The result is a song filled with random swear words, but Zoe sings the song just as it is, because Lucy’s finally making an effort to get involved in her therapy.
While on their honeymoon, Zoe and Vanessa talk about children. While Zoe can’t have kids, Vanessa can. Zoe has three frozen embryos at a clinic in Rhode Island. So Zoe makes an appointment at the clinic to see about getting the embryos, but there’s a problem. In order to let Zoe and Vanessa have the embryos, Max has to sign off on a release form. He says he’ll think about it. A few days later, a man knocks on Zoe’s and Vanessa’s front door and says Zoe’s been served. Max is suing her for his rights to the embryos. Zoe’s at a loss of what to do, but Vanessa calls GLAD- a nonprofit organization protecting gay rights.
Zoe and Vanessa get a lawyer named Angela, and they have a few things going for them: Max isn’t married, he’s an alcoholic, he never wanted kids. One strike against them, though, is that the case has been assigned to Judge O’Neill, a pretty conservative man. During the trial, it’s revealed that Zoe had an abortion when she was nineteen.
I won’t reveal any more details about the trial, but in the end Zoe and Vanessa have a daughter named Samantha.
I enjoyed this book. I didn’t really like Max (the main reason being because he was an alcoholic), and my fave character was Zoe. All in all, a good book, and I look forward to Picoult’s next.
I’ll update on March 18th.