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Songs of the Humpback Whale
Songs of the Humpback Whale
Author: Jodi Picoult
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 ...  more »
ISBN-13: 9780340897294
ISBN-10: 0340897295
Publication Date: 9/4/2008
Pages: 384
Edition: Export/Airside ed
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.

4 stars, based on 1 rating
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton Ltd
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio Cassette, Audio CD
Members Wishing: 1
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed Songs of the Humpback Whale on + 32 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 25
I read this book because I am a big Jodi Picoult fan. I would advise anyone thinking about reading this book to make sure it is not the first Jodi Picoult book you read. It was an interesting read mainly to see the beginning of Jodi's complex character details and her ability to weave a storyline from many controversial subjects in our society. This book covers several different subjects, spousal and child abuse, traumatic events and the way they affect lives, and a grown man's involvement with a minor. Jodi obviously took on too many subjects to make this story compelling. Each character seems to have enough flaws that none ever seems to touch the heart of the reader. Since it was a first novel, I applaud Ms. Picoult's efforts. However, if it was not a first novel of an accomplished author, I probably would have put the book down before finishing.
candieb avatar reviewed Songs of the Humpback Whale on + 239 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 19
Eh... I'm glad this wasn't my first Picoult book, it may have been my last. I thought it dragged a lot, I really didn't like any of the characters and it just kind of "was". Most interesting thing about it was the whale stuff :)
reviewed Songs of the Humpback Whale on + 43 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 18
Oh, this was terrible. I almost can't even begin to describe how terrible. I'm shocked that it got such good reviews from the newspapers. Okay, reasons why this book is terrible . . . 1) the time sequence is so out of whack that she ends up revealing the shocking parts of the book too early, which makes you not want to read the rest, but plow through it anyway hoping fruitlessly that it will get better, 2) you really, really dislike the Oliver character who is the guy communing with the humpbacks (I liked humpbacks before reading this book, and now they are tainted by this guy's scientific self-obsession/agrandizement), and 3) it's just slowwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.

I guess, ultimately, it's about families and love, what brings people together and rips them apart, but there's no real issue/premise that makes it all a cohesive whole like the rest of her books. If you want a good introduction to Picoult, start with Nineteen Minutes or My Sister's Keeper. This book will make you avoid her forever, if you've never read her before.
reviewed Songs of the Humpback Whale on + 264 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
Another wonderful human interest story from Jody Picoult. However, the story unfolds in reverse order which made it a bit confusing for me. Definately a book to be read in one or two sittings, rather than over a week in small increments the way I did.
celticscrapper27 avatar reviewed Songs of the Humpback Whale on + 54 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
Another success. My BF had a hard time with the diffirent perspectives and timelines, but I really enjoyed then and thought it enhanced the suspense waiting to see how events were viewed by different characters. As are all of her books, it's thought provoking and challenging on several levels.
Read All 54 Book Reviews of "Songs of the Humpback Whale"

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reviewed Songs of the Humpback Whale on + 4 more book reviews
Hard to get into but loved it as I do with every other Jodi Picoult book!
epicemery avatar reviewed Songs of the Humpback Whale on + 15 more book reviews
This book was one I could not put down!!! I wanted to know what was going to happen with everyone from Oliver to Rebecca. The characters kept you thinking about what you would do also.
melanee avatar reviewed Songs of the Humpback Whale on + 2 more book reviews
not the best jodi picoult book. I never put it down until I finished it. It took me a while :)
reviewed Songs of the Humpback Whale on + 636 more book reviews
Well, this is Picoult's debut novel (though not the first of hers that I read). I remember being slightly disappointed the first I read this, but in reading it again, I enjoyed it. On the surface, I like the career of the husband (a marine biologist) and I enjoy the unique structure of the book. I think _Nineteen Minutes_ was more engrossing, but this is more the kind of book that grows on you, though it too is very sad in its own way. I still wish some of the characters were better developed (namely the brother who stands out as creepier and creepier each time I read it). What it stands out the most for is its structure, so as far as writing goes, it does make it one of her better books.


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