Friday, April 8, 2011

Sing You Home

Have you read this? Jodi Picoult is one of my favourite fiction writers. Her subject matter is both controversial and able to hit home to the deepest part of a person's psyche. I read and often wonder what I would do in her characters' position.
The synopsis of the book is as follows (taken from

Zoe Baxter has spent ten years trying to get pregnant, and after multiple miscarriages and infertility issues, it looks like her dream is about to come true – she is seven months pregnant. But a terrible turn of events leads to a nightmare – one that takes away the baby she has already fallen for; and breaks apart her marriage to Max.

Zoe has a stillborn baby, born at 28 weeks, due to a placental abruption and rare clotting disorder. The stillbirth part of the novel is actually very short, but my goodness, does it hit home. I dont believe Picoult has had a stillbirth herself, but she must have done a damn lot of research to be able to convey the feelings of the character and the stillbirth experience so adeptly.

Reading this chapter brought it all back. The thing is, I cant write the feelings of that time. I can write about the experience and I can describe what happened, but that time of my life has an ambience attached to it that cant be written. Simple things, like the type of weather at that time of year and how it made me feel (crisp, bright autumn weather), smells, perspectives. I cant write those.
However, Picoult could write it. And when she did, it all came rushing back. It's like it was happening to me all over again. I smelled the smells, I remembered the ambience. I was back in April 2010, not April 2011.
It broke my heart.

The book is worth reading, however, especially for survivors of infant loss and those who endured infertility, in particular, IVF procedures.

I wish I could sing her home.


  1. I've got on hold at the library and it's just come in. I wasn't sure about whether I should read it or not but it sounds like I will.

    I wish we could sing them all home.

  2. I'll have to look this up. I "love" books on this subject matter. God that is sad.
    Thanks for the tip.

  3. Interesting to read your post....I was very keen to read this book when I saw that it addressed the topic of stillbirth as I too very much enjoy Jodi Picoult's style of writing. However I was very disappointed by how little focus she placed on the stillbirth and how Zoe (main character) didn't seem to be affected by it at all...Once Jodi had written about Zoe losing the baby and then scattering his ashes that seemed to be closure and all done and dusted.
    Later in the story it is revealed that Zoe had an abortion when she was 19...and I felt that this was protrayed as a far bigger thing for her to deal with than the stillbirth of her son Daniel.
    I was very disappointed.....

  4. Leighanne, I absoloutely get your point, and I too found the stillbirth part of the novel fleeting. However, the subject matter isnt stillbirth, it is the controversy surrounding gay marriage and parentage, Christian fundamentalism and IVF.