'Sing You Home' is a beautiful book which addresses some serious moral issues. Contemporary fiction is my favourite genre. So I was delighted to get hold of this book by Judy Piccoult. Though I couldn't read the same author's ,'My Sister's Keeper',I have watched the blockbuster movie based on the story and I simply loved it. It was one of the most touching stories I have ever come across.
So, with a lot of expectation, I sat down with 'Sing You Home'. It revolves around a music therapist, Zoe. Zoe is married to Max, a landscaper. Max and Zoe have some fertility issues due to which Zoe is unable to conceive a child. In spite of undergoing several fertility treatments, she fails to give birth to a child and bears the history of two miscarriages and a still born baby. Zoe is desperate for a baby and is ready to go to any extend for it. But the long and tedious procedures and the emotional and financial strains involved with the process has drained out Max. He finds it unbearable to carry on his relationship with Zoe and files for a divorce. To overcome the pain of the divorce and birth of a stillborn, Zoe devotes herself completely to her career. Working with a suicidal student at the local school, she becomes close to the school councilor, Vanessa. The friendship between the two grows and blossoms into love. Zoe realises that it is Vanessa that she wants to be with forever and they get married. Zoe's desire for a child is rekindled when she realizes that there are three still frozen embryos from her marriage with Max stored away at the fertility clinic,which could be used by Vanessa to bear their child. Meanwhile Max has found redemption in an evangelic church and he is accepted into his rich and religious brother Reid's home. Max is happy and content living with his brother and sister-in-law and being the right wing man of Pastor Clive, a staunch opposer of homosexuals.Zoe approaches her fertility clinic with the request that the embryos be gestated on Vanessa. But she has to get permission from her ex-husband Max for using the embryos. So she approaches Max seeking his consent. Max who hadn't given much thought to the embryos is suddenly confused if letting his child grow with two moms is gonna be alright specially now that he believes homosexuality is a sin. Things get out of Max's hand when Pastor Clive finds him a lawyer who is also a homosexual hater to sue against Zoe and prevent her from having the embryos. Clive and his lawyer argues that allowing homosexuals to raise children will spell doom for traditional family system. Fight for the embryos take up an ugly form as media and church is dragged into the scene by Pastor Clive and his lawyer. Soon the court is thronged by media and people from church. Max is appalled by the turn of events and is torn between his desire to win the case and give the embryos to his brother and wife(who also suffer from fertility issues and haven't been able to conceive) and the knowledge that no one could ever want the embryos more than Zoe did. The nail biting climax ends in a series of unexpected events.
I found the tag line of the book, 'you can't choose who you love' very interesting. The whole story of Zoe can be summarised with the line. Being a homosexual isn't anyone's choice. As the author rightly points out, no one would choose it,knowing about all the hurdles that they will have to overcome just because of their sexual orientation. Judy has succeeded in conveying the pain and insecurities experienced by homosexuals in a society where they are seen as outcasts.The story is told through the eyes of the different characters and the plot is beautifully crafted. Life would have been easy if there was an absolute right and absolute wrong. But its rarely so.
I have always wondered how these writers can get into the shoes of other people and write it from their perspectives penning their emotions. Its easy to write an autobiographical work but its damn difficult to write about things that we are not so familiar with. I guess its all about understanding human emotions and minds and then doing lots and lots of research. I truly respect writers for this very reason.