Friday, August 16, 2013

Songs of the humpback Whale, by Jodi Picoult: a Review

Songs of the Humpback WhaleSongs of the Humpback Whale by Jodi Picoult

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Told from five perspectives, and in different orders, Songs of the Humpback Whale shows a remarkable depth of insight into the way in which events are different for every participant.
The at-times-confusing decision to write events backwards for a character and forwards for others helps avoid the tedium that could arise from retelling the same events multiple times, but unfortunately, at times, leads to difficulty in remembering where in the story one is with regard to everyone else's timeline.
More than once I felt as if people should be places they weren't, with foreknowledge they wouldn't have, because they were at a different point in time.
Overall it was an enjoyable story. I only give it two stars because it can be a difficult read to follow because of the multiple perspectives and timeline issues, and because, at times, it seems as though well established characters do something that feels forced in order to further the plot, rather than having the plot emerge organically as an outgrowth of circumstance or character. 
I admit, there are bits of the ending that didn't sit well with me. Some of the "morals" of the story seemed, to me, illogical or old fashioned, and as such I feel "it was okay."

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