It is an interesting read, weaving newborn death, same-sex relationships, conservative religious views, and compassionate relationships together. Picoult focuses the book on a marriage gone south, aided massively by the monstrously devastating loss of a child and two adults who just can no longer find their love for each other through their ongoing lack of being able to successfully conceive a child together. Once the relationship ends, the female from the marriage, Zoe, ends up falling in love with a woman who is a counselor at the high school where Zoe serves as music therapist for emotionally-distraught students. I loved the tie in of music therapy, loved it. I haven't read many- ahem, any- books with music therapists and I loved the weaving in of this professional role. Max, the ex-husband, falls wobbles back into his alcoholic ways but then finds Jesus, moves in with his brother and sister-in-law, and recenters a bit. A bit-- that is all I will give you there-- he is a wobbler to me!! It is the "finding Jesus" part that offers the most heft for this book, with a trial detailing who gets the leftover three eggs from Zoe's body to attempt to create another fetus: Zoe and her partner or Max's brother and sister-in-law. The courtroom work is brutal, and Picoult seems to have done her homework on many fronts. For me, the trial drug on, but I reckon that is what they do: they take forever to solve a tense and at times ugly situation where two sides just can't see truth when it hits them.
I liked reading this book, and I like Picoult's writing style. It was a good escape read for me, and I certainly sought out finishing it when I was two-thirds of the way through. I can see though why the beginning wouldn't necessarily capture Alysa. Sure, it is good work, but the subject matter just might not be something that piques her interest--- yet! For me, I will keep an open mind for Picoult's other works, and I have an idea that this winter break, when I so desperately plan to not work (or at least work less!), one of her other books may just be sitting in my lap!