Songs of the Humpback Whales by Jodi Picoult
Sometimes finding your own voice is a matter of listening to the heart….
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.
Writing this review is painful for me. I love Jodi Picoult, and I do not believe I have not liked one of her novels, but I’m pretty sure I did not like Songs of the Humpback Whale.
Sure, I gave it three stars. I will admit that it was a well crafted story, and like always, I loved being able to “see” the story from all the different perspectives. And I have to give credit for the fact that this book was written very early in Picoult’s career and she was still learning the craft. So I will keep the three stars.
But that is where the love fest ends.
I did not like Oliver, that I guess was understandable. He was a poor husband an father and did not deserve a family. But Jane, Jane really annoyed me and I found her irresponsible and childlike. Her daughter, Rebecca was more like a mother to her and I hated that. I wanted Rebecca to actually be the 15 year old she was suppose to be. But she wasn’t.
Another thing that bothered me about the book was that it was clumsily written. Again, I will chalk this up to amateur writing, but it does distract from the flow of the book. Too many times I had to reread passages just to make sense of them.
Although I recommend Picoult’s books to everyone, and usually pass them on to family…I’m not going to bother with this one.
Misery by Stephen King
Novelist Paul Sheldon wakes up in a secluded farmhouse in Colorado with broken legs and Annie Wilkes, a disappointed fan, hovering over him with drugs, ax, and blowtorch and demanding that he bring his heroine back to life.
Stephen King has held the title of Master of Suspense for decades now, but sometimes you have to time travel back to his early works to truly understand his title.
I nearly did not finish reading Misery. As the book progressed and the mentally frail Annie Wilkes became even frailer, I wasn’t sure how much more horror my poor little heart (and stomach) could take. I was truly unsettled and each night I swore that would be the last time I’d read right before turning off the light.
But of course, I always came back.
I’ve read many of King’s books over the years. I’ve enjoyed many, grew bored of a few, but this was only the second time I truly became frightened by one of his books, and so unsure whether I really wanted to see what happened in the end.