Tag Archives: Songs of the Humpback Whale

Songs of the Humpback Whale- Jodi Picoult

Cover of "Songs of the Humpback Whale: A ...

Cover of Songs of the Humpback Whale: A Novel

Synopsis (from Amazon)

Jane had always lived in somebody’s shadow. Escaping a childhood of abuse by marrying oceanographer Oliver Jones, she finds herself taking second place to his increasingly successful career. However, when her daughter Rebecca is similarly treated, Jane’s dramatic stand takes them all by surprise. Jane and Rebecca set out to drive across America to the sanctuary of the New England apple orchard where Jane’s brother Joley works. Oliver, used to tracking male humpback whales across vast oceans, now has the task of tracking his wife across a continent. To do so he must learn to see the world – and even himself – through her eyes…


Ok so did I miss something…both the above synopsis and and the one on the back of the book suggested Rebecca was abused but as far as I can see that isn’t what happened, or the reason why Jane chose to leave…did I miss something crutial? (Highlight for spoiler)There was a brief section where I thought the Grandad may have thought about doing something, but that was in the past (he was dead in the present section) and not what caused them to leave at all. I guess that’s not something that’s really important though, makes no difference to the actual story even though it gives a false impression. Although this is Picoult’s latest book in the UK it was her first book in the US. You can already see her style though, with multiple voices. I don’t think her flow was quite up to her current standard, I did find that the changes in time took a while to adjust to and at first I found them a little confusing.

What I did like about this, in comparison to the other Picoult books I’ve read (which I think is all that are released in the UK) was that it was easier to relate to. There was still a moral dilemma as in the rest of Picoult’s books but it was the sort of dilemma you can image facing yourself, while not exactly common it’s less…dramatic, I suppose, and that makes it seem more likely to happen to you. I guess some people may see this as a disadvantage but for me I found I could more easily understand how the characters were feeling because it was easier to imagine myself in that situation.

I wouldn’t say it’s my favourite Picoult book, and it took me a little longer to get into, but I did really enjoy it- more even than some of her more recent ones.



Filed under Contempory, Fiction review