Saturday, June 16, 2012

Book 5 of 50: Handle With Care by Jodi Picoult

After finally finishing the LOTR Trilogy I wanted to read a single book, not a series.  I had found this novel at a local thrift store and bought it solely because of the author.  Not sure I even read the book description.  For those of you who don't know, Jodi Picoult is also the author of My Sister's Keeper, which was turned into a movie in 2009.  As usual, the book is better, but the movie is still worth seeing.

Anyway, back to this book.  Jodi Picoult has definitely found her nitch in the book-writing world -- moral dilemma.  The moral dilemma of Handle with Care is this: a girl is born with osteogenesis imperfecta, a disease in which her bones break more easily.  The family is stressed in every way possible: financial, emotional, marital, etc. Then, the mother is told that it all could have been prevented.  There was a moment in an early ultrasound that her daughter could have been diagnosed and the mother could have chosen to abort.


The mother chooses to sue her OB/GYN (who happens to be her best friend) for wrongful birth, which basically means that if she had known, she would have aborted the child, Willow.  If she wins, she could get enough money to provide for Willow throughout her life - medical bills, casts, wheel chairs, treatments. If she loses, she risks losing everything: her best friend, her marriage, her older daughter who gets forgotten in the process, and Willow's faith that her mother loves her no matter what.

Willow is very intelligent and knows what is going on.  She hears the discussions on TV and at school. She is a child trying to reconcile her body that keeps breaking with the pain she's causing her family.

Each chapter is from the voice of a different person in the story: mom, dad, sister, lawyer, doctor, and the final chapter is from Willow.

And true to Picoult's legacy, someone dies.

This book was almost impossible to put down.  I felt every emotion for every character: happiness, confusion, joy, frustration, anger, hatred, self-pity, selflessness, exhaustion, hopeful, and loving.  I definitely recommend that you read it. It's not a skinny book, so don't give up just because you started hating someone.  They're all redeemed in the end.

If you don't trust me, here is a video of Jodi Picoult herself telling you all about it.

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