(33) Love Makes A Family

Title: Sing You Home by Jodi Picoult
Publisher: Atria Books
466 pages
Genre: Fiction

Synopsis: When music therapist Zoe Baxter’s latest pregnancy ends in a stillbirth, her husband Max decides he can’t handle any more heartbreak and leaves her. As she picks up the pieces of her life, Zoe is surprised to find herself falling for a school counselor who happens to be a woman. While Zoe is finding happiness with Vanessa, Max falls off the wagon and is helped by a pastor from his brother’s evangelical church. Vanessa and Zoe wed in Massachusetts, and Vanessa offers to carry one of the fertilized embryos Zoe and Max stored. Excited by the prospect of being a mother, Zoe goes to Max to get him to release the embryos to her and is shocked when he instead sues her for custody of them, backed by his church.

Review: I was unsure about this book when I picked it.  Being a lesbian mom I was a little worried about this one.  Jodi did me proud though.  Her portrayal of LGBT relationships and the struggles that they face in parenting, and just everyday things was wonderfully done.  From the struggle to have children, marriage, and all the other hoops we have to jump through just to have basic civil rights.  Zoe and Vanessa's struggle is not an uncommon one and it was beautifully portrayed. It really brought to light that it isn't the make up of the people in a family that makes it - its the love that binds them all together.

Zoe's ex-husband Max and his struggle with life was also well done and Pastor Clive was so well portrayed found myself having to put the book down and walk away because I was so angry at what he was preaching. I'm not a Christian and it pushed every button I have when he started preaching about how Christian homes are the ideal and best homes for children.  I was outraged for people of other religions and don't even get me started on his beliefs about the "gay lifestyle".

I found myself completely intrigued by Liddy, Max's sister in law - the devoted Christian wife who was struggling with her own infertility issues throughout the book. I wish her character had been a bit more fleshed out. At first I wasn't sure I liked her but as the book went on she became more real and I found her to be one of the most compassionate characters in the book.  She saw the good in people and maybe learned a bit more about her religion in the process of the lawsuit over Max and Zoe's embryo's.

Jodi Picoult couldn't have written a more timely book, that really gives a glimpse of the struggles of LGBT families and the civil injustices that we face on a daily basis.