Friday Morning Bookclub

June 22, 2012

Picture Perfect…Not Your Typical Jodi Picoult Book!

I have never read a book by Jodi Picoult that has not been a page turner, so when I saw Picture Perfect sitting among the Playaways on the library shelf I grabbed it along with several other Playaways. Here was a Picoult book I had never heard of. I popped the triple battery in, plugged in my ear plugs and began to listen to it as I walked back to my car. No point wasting any time!

“The first thing the groundskeeper saw when he went to tend the small cemetery behind St. Sebastian’s was the body that someone had forgotten to bury”

When Cassie  opened her eyes she had no idea where she was or how she had gotten there. She had no idea who she was and the contents of her pockets revealed no clues.  She had a nasty gash in her head and blood on her hands. Cassie was in a graveyard and began to walk to the church she saw in the distance to get help.

Will Flying Horse was new in town. He had taken a job with the LA police force and had not yet reported for his first day of work when he came upon Cassie. Cassie trusted Will from the first moment she met him. She felt safe with him and without hesitation got into his car. Will took Cassie to the hospital and it was there that she noticed the diamond on her finger. She was married. Surely someone was looking for her.

No one could have been more surprised than Cassie when Alex Rivers, Hollywood’s hottest actor came to claim her. She was married to Alex Rivers, a gorgeous charming man. She was a world-renowned Anthropologist. Her life appeared to be picture perfect. So how did she come to find herself in a graveyard with no memory?

Picture Perfect flips back and forth in time revealing clues little by little. Clearly Cassie and Alex’s life was not picture perfect. Alex was not all he appeared to be. Picoult did a wonderful job of showing both sides of Alex’s personality. It was easy to see how Cassie fell for his charms. Even I fell in love with him and wanted to be wrong about him. Wanted a happily ever after ending.

I was bothered by the fact that other than Will, no one seemed overly concerned as to how Cassie had come to find herself in the graveyard. No one asked any questions. No one did any investigating. Cassie just went back to their Malibu apartment, one of the many homes they owned as if nothing had happened. As if people got amnesia all of the time.

Picture Perfect was written in 1995 and was one of Picoult’s earlier books.After listening to a few chapters of Picture Perfect, I actually checked the cover. Had I been mistaken? Was this really written by Jodi Picoult, the same Jodi Picoult who had written My Sister’s Keeper, Nineteen Minute and Handle With Care? It was certainly entertaining, but it did not measure up to Picoult’s later books. Picture Perfect was missing Picoult’s signature gut wrenching twist that we have come to expect.

November 3, 2011

Sing You Home By Jodi Picoult: A Special Kind Of Audio Experience!

Filed under: Book Recomendations,Jodi Picoult,Sing You Home — susanbright @ 10:24 am
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 The one thing I can say about Jodi Picoult is that she knows how to pick a topic and write a thought-provoking book and Sing You Home is no exception.  The story grabbed me from the very beginning and to add to the listening experience Picoult has included original songs which correspond to each chapter.  The lyrics are written by Picoult herself and sang by Ellen Wilber. Not only are the songs beautiful to listen to, but the lyrics  do a wonderful job of reflecting the main character’s feelings, adding tremendously to the whole Sing You Home experience.  I looked forward to each new chapter and each new song.

Zoe and Max Baxter had been trying to have a baby for  10 years. They had tried everything, exhausting their funds with expensive medical procedures. Finally Zoe was pregnant! At seven month’s they were cautiously allowing themselves to get excited, when tragedy strikes and Zoe loses her baby… and her husband. Max decided that he cannot take it anymore and leaves.

The trouble with beginnings is that they have to end
Never thought I’d be the girl who said remember when
You leave your ring on the pillow……….

Zoe, a music therapist copes with her loss by throwing herself into her work helping sick patients through music. When Vanessa, a school guidance counselor asks Zoe to work with Lucy, a troubled teen, Zoe agrees and not only finds herself involved with helping  Lucy but also finds herself spending more and more time with Vanessa.  Before she realizes what is happening Zoe finds herself falling in love with Vanessa. Meanwhile, her ex, Max, a recovering alcoholic has found god and becomes involved in the Eternal Glory Church, which does not look kindly on Gay relationships.

We wouldn’t have a future
If I never had a past
You may not be my first love
But you’re gonna be my last.

Gay rights were something that Picoult had thought about writing for quite some time, but ironically it was while she was writing Sing You Home that her own 17-year-old son came out and told her that he was gay. Sing You Home was definitely thought- provoking  and once I started listening to it, I couldn’t stop.  The story was gripping and there is so much more I could say, however I do not want to give anything away! I listened to the Playaway Sing You Home, wherever I went! I would highly recommend the audio version and wonder if I would have enjoyed it as much had I read the book. I probably would not have even listened to the CD with the beautiful songs.  The narrators were wonderful and the music was the icing on the cake!

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