Songs of the Humpback Whale

Songs of the Humpback Whale

A Novel in Five Voices

Book - 2001
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After a family argument, Jane takes her daughter, Rebecca, and travels across the country to stay with her brother Joley, and Oliver, her oceanographer husband, tries to track her unpredictable path.
Publisher: New York : Washington Square Press, 2001.
Copyright Date: ©1992
ISBN: 9780743431019
Characteristics: 346 pages ; 21 cm


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Feb 12, 2017

After reading My Sister’s Keeper, Jodi Picoult became an instant fave of mine and I just had to read more of her books. I mainly picked up Songs of the Humpback Whale because I saw the title and thought oh! something about humpback whales (I was going through this humpback-obsessed phase at the time). Even though it was not directly about humpback whales (one of the main character’s studies them so it’s a central aspect of the plot), I still loved it!

Jane and Oliver Jones have had a rocky marriage and when Oliver chooses career over family yet again, Jane decides enough is enough and leaves with her daughter, Rebecca for her brother’s apple farm. Character development is huge and Picoult lays out all this emotion in the same way that had me falling in love with My Sister’s Keeper. The one thing I strongly disliked – maybe even hated – about the novel was the ending. I personally didn’t agree with Jane’s choice at the end; I felt like that choice made all the growth gained throughout the novel all for nothing. All in all, it’s interesting to think about what I’d do differently because in that way I’m somewhat in Picoult’s head.

Jul 17, 2016

After getting hooked on Jodi Picoult, I decided to try to read her novels from first published (this one) to next published. This is the only one that I was not extremely impressed with. Rebecca telling the story backwards is not as well done in this book as when characters and events are told out of order in her other books. It's not a bad book; it still explores events and relationships from every point of view, which is always enlightening; it's just not my favorite Jodi Picoult book.

Jul 19, 2013

I did not find this title as powerful or compelling as her Nineteen Minutes.

BugLady1 Sep 14, 2011

Good Story. Interesting how Rebecca tells the story in reverse, while everyone else tells it forward. Jodi Picoult has a way of writing that draws you in and keeps you there. Love the points of perspective from the voice of each character. A great read from a great author.

Apr 14, 2011

Another great story by Jodi Piccoult. Will continue to read all books available by this author

loonylovesgood Aug 07, 2009

Jodi Picoult's first novel, and it was pretty good, although not nearly as good as some of her more recent ones. This one is kind of a downer, with no real happy ending. Still, it was a page-turner!

Sep 24, 2008

not one of her better books, but still a decent story line


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