Monday, May 13, 2013
Songs of the Humpback Whale by Jodi Picoult
Jodi Picoult's powerful novel portrays an emotionally charged marriage that changes course in one explosive moment....For years, Jane Jones has lived in the shadow of her husband, renowned San Diego oceanographer Oliver Jones. But during an escalating argument, Jane turns on him with an alarming volatility. In anger and fear, Jane leaves with their teenage daughter, Rebecca, for a cross-country odyssey charted by letters from her brother Joley, guiding them to his Massachusetts apple farm, where surprising self-discoveries await. Now Oliver, an expert at tracking humpback whales across vast oceans, will search for his wife across a continent -- and find a new way to see the world, his family, and himself: through her eyes.
I am normally a big Jodi Picoult fan but I felt that this book just did not live up to her normal standard.
It did not seem as well researched as her other books and it did not give the same level of detail about the topics within.
She managed the style well of writing the same story from several different characters point of view. Most were in the same time frame while one, Rebecca, was written in reverse order. This did not work very well for me as it gave away part of the ending at the beginning and I felt that the book would have been more dramatic if this had not already been revealed.
I also felt that her handling of this book was not in her usual "gritty, no holds barred way". Something of the Picoult magic was just missing for me in this book. This wasn't helped by the weak (in my opinion) ending as I am so used to Ms Picoult taking the harder course in her endings.
All this aside, it was still an enjoyable read but displays the fact that it was her first novel and proves how much she has matured as a writer since penning this book. A good debut novel and one which would have been best read before reading her later books. Worth a read for all fans anyway. 4 out of 5 from me as I have taken into account it being her debut novel before she became THE Jodi Picoult!