Songs of the Humpback Whale: A Novel in Five Voices

by Jodi Picoult | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 0743431014 Global Overview for this book
Registered by priceliss of Takaka, Nelson-Tasman New Zealand on 10/20/2006
Buy from one of these Booksellers: | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon DE | Amazon FR | Amazon IT |
10 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by priceliss from Takaka, Nelson-Tasman New Zealand on Friday, October 20, 2006
Front cover different to what is shown.

Not a bad story but I found it hard to get into as it is narrated by five different people which made it a bit confusing, because of this I was able to figure out the plot before reaching the end of the story. An interesting read for the Jodi Picoult fans.

Journal Entry 2 by priceliss from Takaka, Nelson-Tasman New Zealand on Thursday, December 28, 2006
Libragirl was kind enough to send me this so I thought I would paste it here.


1. When you receive the book, make a journal entry so we all get the thrill of knowing where it's at.

2. Send a private message (PM) to the next person in line for their address. If they do not respond within three days, PM them again. If they do not respond within a week of your first message, PM the person after them and contact me.

3. Read the book, within 30 days, and make a journal entry to tell us what you have thought about the book. You can be as brief or as lengthy as you wish with your thoughts about the book.

Please remember, that there are many anxious readers patiently waiting to read the book after you. Please bear this in mind! If you tend to be a slow reader, like myself, and need the month to finish the book, please make a periodic journal entry indicating how far you are into the story, or thoughts about what you have read so far. This way we know that the book has not been forgotten in your ‘to-be-read’ pile.

4. When you are ready to send the book to the next person in line, make release notes/a journal entry to say when the book is leaving your hands and who'll be catching it next, and pop it into the post!

5. To the last person on the list: Please PM me and I will send you my mailing address:)

Thank you for participating!

***When you receive a PM from the person before you, letting you know that you are next in line, and you find yourself overwhelmed with book commitments,(or just life in general) Please PM me and I may be able to move you further down the list.

Journal Entry 3 by priceliss from Takaka, Nelson-Tasman New Zealand on Thursday, January 11, 2007
The ring so far, I have tried to organise it into areas:
1. Sherlockfan [Wellington] ---->finished
2. discoverylover [Wellington] ---->finished
3. rarsberry [Dunedin] ---->finished
4. libragirl [Christchurch]---->finished
5. TheLetterB [Christchurch]---->finished
6. Marcie130 [Darfield]---->finished
7. Futurecat [Christchurch]---->finished
8. Pluisje [Paeroa]---->finished
9. Cathietay [Christchurch]---->HERE
10. Back to me priceliss

Please remember to make journal entries.

Journal Entry 4 by Sherlockfan from Upper Hutt, Wellington Province New Zealand on Wednesday, January 17, 2007
Arrived today, thank you priceliss. I'll get on to it as quickly as I can, having a bit of a conscience about these BookCircle books. Great excitement when I called at the PO today because there were six packets to collect and it felt like Christmas again. Lots of convention books and bits and pieces; it was most exciting opening them all.


Journal Entry 5 by Sherlockfan from Upper Hutt, Wellington Province New Zealand on Monday, January 22, 2007
I approached this novel with anticipation as I have really enjoyed some of Jodi's books. This one is unusual with its five different voices.

The primary voice in what I believe to be Jodi's first novel belongs to Jane Jones, a speech pathologist living in San Diego, Calif. Other narrators are her daughter Rebecca; her husband, Oliver, a marine biologist renowned for his research on the songs of humpback whales; her brother Joley; and her potential new lover, Sam.

When an argument between Jane and Oliver culminates in her striking him, Jane is shattered. A childhood victim of physical and sexual abuse, Jane has tried to submerge her memories, but this outbreak of violence causes her to reexamine her life.

On a cross-country automobile trip, Jane and Rebecca travel to Stow, Mass., where her brother Joley is living and where they each meet a man towards whom they each feel a great attraction.

Jane relates the events that occur from San Diego to Stow, while Rebecca tells the story in reverse, flashing back from the climax. Their stories intersect with Oliver's in an Iowa cornfield that still bears the wreckage of the airliner on which then-three-year-old Rebecca was being sent back to her father during her parents' earlier separation; she was one of five survivors. Reading this unusual novel makes one realize that there are as many truths to a story as there are people to tell it.

Not my favourite Jodi Picoult by any means. I found the moving forward and backwards in different voices rather confusing. It was very interesting though to learn a little about the fascinating lives and songs of the humpback whales.

Journal Entry 6 by Sherlockfan from Upper Hutt, Wellington Province New Zealand on Monday, January 22, 2007
I'll pass this on to DiscoveryLover just as soon as I can catch up with her.

Passed on to DiscoveryLover tonight 30th January.

Journal Entry 7 by wingdiscoveryloverwing from Wellington City, Wellington Province New Zealand on Tuesday, January 30, 2007
I got this one off Sherlockfan. Is either next on the list, or third on the list (once I have finished reading my current book).

Journal Entry 8 by rarsberry from Christchurch, Canterbury New Zealand on Sunday, February 18, 2007
discoverylover brought this along to the convention to pass it on to me. I will read this before the other books I picked up at the convention so I can pass it on quickly.

Thank you. :o)

Journal Entry 9 by rarsberry from Christchurch, Canterbury New Zealand on Monday, February 26, 2007
Starting this book today. (Tuesday 27)

Journal Entry 10 by rarsberry from Christchurch, Canterbury New Zealand on Tuesday, March 06, 2007
Overall I liked this book, I enjoyed that it was told my 5 different characters as each saw things in their own way.
I didn't so much enjoy the way that it kept jumping about the place timewise, that was confusing at times.
Or when something was repeated because three different people were talking about it. Its ok to know how they felt about it, but don't repeat the facts.

A good book and I will pass it on when I have an address from libragirl.

Journal Entry 11 by libragirl from Christchurch, Canterbury New Zealand on Monday, March 19, 2007
Received yesterday. I will get to this ASAP. It will be an interesting read by all accounts so far.

Journal Entry 12 by libragirl from Christchurch, Canterbury New Zealand on Friday, April 13, 2007
Enjoyed this book alot. Whereas rarsberry did not like the same story told again and again, I did however enjoy reading how certain events were taken into context by each person where particular events mean more to one than another. How true for life in general. One must never assume that how we see particular events in our own lives will mirror the thoughts of others who experience the same event at the same time.

Waiting on address from TheLetterB. Then this book will be off to Darfield.

Journal Entry 13 by TheLetterB from Dunedin, Otago New Zealand on Sunday, April 15, 2007
The book arrived today - thanks priceliss and libragirl! I'm actually in Chch (it's Marcie who is Darfield, I think). Am halfway through another book at the moment, then I have to read a bookclub book before the end of the month, but I will probably fit this one in between. Am keen to read it, as I saw Jodi speak a couple of years ago(?) and she mentioned how complicated the storyline was in her first book.

Journal Entry 14 by TheLetterB from Dunedin, Otago New Zealand on Sunday, April 22, 2007
I rather enjoyed this book. It has a pretty complicated structure, and I thought the decision to reveal the "ending" of the story halfway through was brave. However it worked well for me - it made me read more for how the characters changed than just what happened in the story. I think Jodi Picoult has developed quite a bit as an author since she wrote this.

Waiting on an address from Marcie130, then will send off to Darfield.

Released 13 yrs ago (4/30/2007 UTC) at In mailbox in Ray It Forward, A Bookcrossing member -- Controlled Releases



Oops - almost forgot to make release notes on this book! Marcie130 picked it up yesterday.

Journal Entry 16 by marcienz from Kimbell, Canterbury New Zealand on Wednesday, May 02, 2007
Found in the letterbox of TheLetterB.

I'm looking forward to reading it before passing on to Futurecat at the (not a) Meetup next week.

Thanks Priceliss. I'll journal again when I've finished the book.

Journal Entry 17 by marcienz from Kimbell, Canterbury New Zealand on Tuesday, May 08, 2007
I really enjoyed this book. I love the whole road trip thing. The different fonts made it easier to follow who was the narrator at any given time.

Journal Entry 18 by wingfuturecatwing from Christchurch, Canterbury New Zealand on Friday, May 11, 2007
Discovered in my "litterbox" ;-) this morning.

^ ^

Journal Entry 19 by wingfuturecatwing from Christchurch, Canterbury New Zealand on Sunday, May 20, 2007
Reading through the previous journallers' comments, I'm on the side of loving the multiple narration of the same event, especially once Rebecca's backwards narration intersected with the forwards narration of the other characters. The same scene was viewed and interpreted so differently by each character, each choosing to emphasise or ignore different things - it reminds me of an article I read a couple of years ago for a psychology paper, about the basic unreliability of eye witness testimony, because it is impossible for anyone to remember anything without being affected (even if not consciously) by their own assumptions and biases.

^ ^

Journal Entry 20 by Pluisje on Saturday, June 09, 2007
Arrived home from a long break overseas and found two rings in my mailbox. Will read this one first as I am the last one on the list at the other one. Thank you for sharing!

Journal Entry 21 by Pluisje on Tuesday, July 03, 2007
My second Jodi Picoult book and nothing like the other one I read (also through BC-My Sister's Keeper)
I absolutely enjoyed the rythm of the five voices, the story and people floating forwards and backwards. Although not sure if that was intended but it fitted for me with the image of the whales and their songs. Everybody floating around each other repeating and passing their songs on to each other and the next generation.

Although I really liked the form the story itself did not work for me. Maybe too much drama to be realistic. I liked the soul searching of the characters more than the actual happenings.

I'm glad I got the chance to read it, if not for bookcrossing I would not have come across it I think (thanks Priceless). I would definitely like to read another of her books.
Posted out to Cathietay today 5th of July

Journal Entry 22 by Cathietay from Christchurch, Canterbury New Zealand on Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Waiting for me when I got back from a weekend away Thanks Plusje willread it as soon as I finish the novel I am on

Journal Entry 23 by Cathietay from Christchurch, Canterbury New Zealand on Wednesday, August 08, 2007
I wasn''t sure if I liked the five different voices, as Jane told the story forward and Rebecca told it backwards you knew the climax early on but I did enjoy the telling of the same scene by diferent voice.
My first Jodi Picolt novel and I look forward to reading more. Thanks for sharing priceless.

Journal Entry 24 by priceliss from Takaka, Nelson-Tasman New Zealand on Friday, August 10, 2007
RABCK to Cathietay

Journal Entry 25 by Cathietay from Christchurch, Canterbury New Zealand on Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Given to a friend in need if a good read hopefully she will journal it.

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