Songs of the Humpback Whale: A Novel in Five Voices

Songs of the Humpback Whale: A Novel in Five Voices

by Jodi Picoult
3.4 142


$10.70 $16.99 Save 37% Current price is $10.7, Original price is $16.99. You Save 37%.
View All Available Formats & Editions
Eligible for FREE SHIPPING
  • Get it by Monday, October 23 , Order now and choose Expedited Delivery during checkout.
    Same Day delivery in Manhattan. 


Songs of the Humpback Whale: A Novel in Five Voices by Jodi Picoult

Sometimes finding your own voice
is a matter of listening to the heart....

Jodi Picoult's powerful novel portrays an emotionally charged marriage that changes course in one explosive moment....For years, Jane Jones has lived in the shadow of her husband, renowned San Diego oceanographer Oliver Jones. But during an escalating argument, Jane turns on him with an alarming volatility. In anger and fear, Jane leaves with their teenage daughter, Rebecca, for a cross-country odyssey charted by letters from her brother Joley, guiding them to his Massachusetts apple farm, where surprising self-discoveries await. Now Oliver, an expert at tracking humpback whales across vast oceans, will search for his wife across a continent — and find a new way to see the world, his family, and himself: through her eyes.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780743431019
Publisher: Washington Square Press
Publication date: 10/02/2001
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 150,124
Product dimensions: 8.26(w) x 5.18(h) x 0.93(d)
Lexile: HL750L (what's this?)

About the Author

Jodi Picoult received an AB in creative writing from Princeton and a master’s degree in education from Harvard. The recipient of the 2003 New England Book Award for her entire body of work, she is the author of twenty-one novels, including the #1 New York Times bestsellers House Rules, Handle With Care, Change of Heart, and My Sister’s Keeper, for which she received the American Library Association’s Margaret Alexander Edwards Award. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband and three children. Visit her website at


Hanover, New Hampshire

Date of Birth:

May 19, 1966

Place of Birth:

Nesconset, Long Island, NY


A.B. in Creative Writing, Princeton University; M.A. in Education, Harvard University

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Songs of the Humpback Whale: A Novel in Five Voices 3.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 142 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love some of Picoult's other works, so I tried this one. Maybe it's just me, but reading the same story 5 times - even from 5 different perspectives - was boring. I found myself thinking SO many times - but I know this already ... get on with the story. The last half of the book I just skimmed through to see if there was anything relevant to the plot. I won't give up on Picoult though. I plan to read all of her works because I loved the first three I read: My Sister's Keeper (I read this before I even knew a movie was coming out.), Change of Heart (really LOVED this one), and Plain Truth.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I like Jodi Picoult novels--for the most part--but this one was lacking. Jane, married at a young age to Oliver, a marine biologist, is stifled by his years of apathy toward his marriage and child. Things come to a head shortly before their daughter, Rebecca's 15th birthday, when Jane, upon learning her husband once again plans to be away working on that day, snaps and slaps her husband (bringing to her consciousness her history of seeing her own father abuse his wife and family) and she takes off with her daughter across the country from San Diego to see her brother who works on an apple farm in Massachusetts. A whiz at tracking the migration of humpback whales, Oliver follows a scientifically calculated pursuit of his family as Jane and Rebecca follow a far more meandering route (directed by letters from Jane's brother Joley)to their final destination. Along the way, each of the characters share their experiences about their trip east, (Rebecca's experience told in an annoying and at times confusing backward tale) how they grow and change, and about the ultimately devastating events that happen after they reach the farm. As is too often the case with Picoult novels, she writes a truly interesting story but with an ethereal quality about relationships that is over-the-top unbelievable. Her descriptions of a very close emotional bond between Jane and her brother Joley, reads as borderline incestuous. Jane's relationship with her daughter reads at times the same way--too close for comfort. (Why, for example, does Jane feel a need twice in this novel to put her hands on her daughter's breasts? If it were a father doing this, it would be child molestation!) Over the course of five days, we are led to believe that an at first prickly relationship between Jane and the orchard owner, Sam, suddenly becomes a sexual relationship between soul mates. I've got news for both of them--he's a diversion. And a improper sexual relationship between fifteen year old Rebecca and 25-year old Hadley is really okay, because the girl is mature beyond her years. Of course, she isn't--as is made quite clear when she willingly climbs into a truck to hitchhike with two men who have all but said straight out they plan to take advantage of her sexually (if only all would-be rapists would reveal their hand so quickly!). The problem is that it is difficult to like any of the characters--perhaps with the exception of Rebecca, who is just plain naive--to enough extent to route for anyone. Neither Jane nor her daughter seem to have the maturity to think about their actions beyond the here and now. The same seems to go for Oliver, until he experiences some sort of a mid-trip 'awakening' and realizes he really does love his wife after all but hasn't always shown it--duh! Jane is just plain selfish and inconsiderate. She uses her newly attained status as Sam's girlfriend to demand he let a long-time trusted employee go. Need anyone remind her who was the uninvited guest at this orchard? Again, this is a good story, and if you are a romantic at heart who wants to read something meatier than romance novels, then this is a good book for you. So long as you don't get caught up in the believability of the characters, you'll enjoy this read.
grandma200414 More than 1 year ago
That was a hard book for me to get into. I found getting very interested in sisters keeper and I couldn't put it down and the suicide pact that was another I had a hard time putting down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I usually don't write reviews but after reading all of the negative reviews and then reading this book myself, I feel compelled to write one. In my opinion, this was a very touching novel that really hit home for me. Although I didn't personally deal with abuse growing up, I am married with 2 children and have gone through losing myself and leaving my home with my children to rediscover myself. This book hit really close to home for me. I love how it gave everyone's perspective! It was a little slow in parts but I found myself crying like a baby at the end, as I have done in all of her books that I have read. Definatly another excellent read by a brilliant author!
buddyroo66 More than 1 year ago
Complete disappointment :(
pwee More than 1 year ago
this novel follows a broken family in desperate need of repair, placing the views of each person (the mother, father, and the daughtor) into their own unique passages. Jane, the mother, after having hit her husband Oliver, flees across America with her daughtor, Rebecca, in the direction of her closely knit brother, Joley, at the apple orchard where he works. Along the way, mother and daughtor are forced to relive active memories that they have so long attempted to forget. Meanwhile,the father, Oliver, is attempting to find his family with his grand tracking skills, gained from experience in tracking humpback whales, at frist being rather smug that finding them would be a simple and easy task. As the novel continues, bonds are created and broken, as each person finds who he/she really is and the new person that they have become. A really good, thought provoking novel, as is Jodi Picoult's trademark, and completely engrossing once you find out that Rebecca is backtracking through time. If you "stick with it", you will most definitely find that it was worth it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I wait
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
...But this one is my least favorite so far. The story telling jumps from character to character and from past to future events. I felt like the novel itself was a plot spoiler and that lessened my enjoyment of Picoult's beautiful writing considerably. Every chapter was anticlimatic; it was like reading the last page of a book first. Also I found the characters to be less than relatable and the information on whale songs was tremendously boring and textbook-like. My favorite Picoult novels include animals and learning about their behavoirs; Lone Wolf and Leaving Time were so masterful at this, that I assumed this book would follow suit. It did not. I still have to give three and a half stars because she simply is a wonderful writer whose work I never can seem to put down. I am measuring Jodi on her homerun masterpiece novels, so this doesn't quite cut muster. Still worth reading at the library. Don't spend the money on it, though. Twelve bucks for a Nook book is highway robbery.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
He walks in without a shirt on showing his golden tan. "Need help?"
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Im writing fast)) hestartes to suck at her n<_>ipples th vibrater now wet an hiss hand pkaying with her p<_>ussy
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Groans ( you didint spell stuff right )
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Timepool at 'old mortality'. I'm done with her rper.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A dark gray tom with blue eyes and skyclan heritage Pads in
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not the best was dissapointed at the end
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
lg22 More than 1 year ago
Had a hard time finishing this one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Jodi Picoult's, "Songs of the Humpback Whale" is not what I first expected in what the title expressed.Instead it tis the story of a mother who takes her child across country to escape the abuse of her husband. She is led across our fantastic country by the letters of her younger brother and the memories that her brings back to life for her, to help heal her, and also because she has never driven outside the confines of the western coast. the book is about theamazing journey of the mother and daughter experiencing life together and when they arrive in Massachussetts, the mother meets an amazing man who teaches her what Love is really all about. The father finnaly cathes up to them and a horrific accident brings them all to their senses. The mother and child return with the father to the west coast with a renewed sense of who they are and whee they shooud head in the future.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Another great story by Jodi Picoult. Such a beautiful story of love and loss. The complexity if the characters leaves you with a set of new friends and yearning to learn more.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago