Jodi’s one of those authors whose new books come out around my birthday, so March – April is a very good book month for me. But lately, as a lot of people in various review communities have point out, her books are becoming somewhat predictable. The plots are certainly still intriguing, but the execution is pretty mundane and predictable. Sadly, Sing You Home, the story of a couple broken up by Zoe’s desire to have a baby, and Max’s heartbreak at tying again, falls into this disappointing “predictable” category. After they separate, Zoe falls in love, but it’s with a woman, and Max’s alcoholism comes back full-force. What follows is a fight over the couple’s frozen embryos and questions about who could be a better family for these unborn children — Zoe and her partner Vanessa or Max’s brother and sister-in-law, who are also desperate to get pregnant.
Okay, first and foremost, I think this is a really interesting subject for a novel to explore. The writing is good. I liked the characters (with the exception of And I think I would have loved this book if I hadn’t read every other book Picoult has written. But I have, with few exceptions, read the entire body of her work, and what I found with this book is that it isn’t better than any of her previous works. I would hope that an author would get progressively better with each successive novel, but this novel in particular doesn’t seem better. It just seems like Picoult’s formulaic books (but, don’t get me wrong, it is still pretty good — compared to a lot of other authors). Lots of twists, different points-of-view, lots of time in court, a crazy twist at the end. But the twist was pretty much something I had seen coming from the halfway point of the book.
The ending also disappointment me. Truthfully, I expected it, but it was just tied up too neatly for my liking. (But what do I know? I’m the kind of person who digs Flannery O’Conner because PEOPLE DIE in her stories/books!) I guess for something that’s being published to be a commercial success, the ending hits the mark.
This makes it sound like I really didn’t like the book and that’s not entirely true. I just thought that Jodi Picoult could have written this book better. By most standards, the writing is good — stellar, even. But Jodi Picoult isn’t “most standards.” She is, or at least she was, better than that. It’s still a really good book, but the final product, coming from a seasoned author, was a disappointment. (But her books sell, so she churns them out. Oh well.)
Rating: 7/10 (yep… it’s just average)