Sunday, March 22, 2009

47 - Handle With Care; Jodi Picoult

I have read all of Jodi Picoult’s books, and admittedly most I have loved, but some I did not care for. My least favorites were a few of her earlier books: Songs of the Humpback Whale, and Picture Perfect. My favorites were My Sister’s Keeper and now Handle with Care: A Novel; gets added to my favorites list. I really enjoyed this controversial story.

In this story the O’Keefe family is strained to the breaking point when their daughter, Willow, is born with OI, osteogenesis imperfect, or (brittle bone disease) which causes her bones to break easily ---even before she was born some of her bones were broken and on the day she was born (4) more breaks occurred.

When the mother, Charlotte O’Keefe visits a lawyer on another matter the wheels of a “wrongful birth” lawsuit are set in motion. The defendant is her Obstetrician and best friend, Piper. Charlotte's motivation for the lawsuit, which will tear her family apart, is that she needs money to take proper care of her daughter. Charlotte is Willows the full time caregiver, and her husband is a police officer in New Hampshire, so the family is financially strapped. Her husband Sean opposes this lawsuit, and her older daughter suffers the emotional effects of this struggle as well.

To win a malpractice suit such as this, the attorney must argue that had the obstetrician provided accurate information about the fetus sooner, the couple would have been able to decide whether or not to abort the fetus. Since this family is Catholic, answering that question will not be an easy thing to do.

The story is told in the form of alternating narrators – all very believable. Handle with Care: A Novel, is a great, emotionally charged, extremely well researched book that captures the complexity of this story. Several reviewers seemed to feel that the ending was “infuriating or a cop-out”, but for me, I can understand the thought process, and to me, the ending was believable.

RATING – 5/5 – COMPLETED – 3/22/09


  1. I am looking forward to reading this one. I've read a handful of Picoult's books so far and am slowly working my way through them. I love how she tackles such controversial topics and presents all sides of the issues. Great review!

  2. I love Picoult, the only book so far that I haven't been crazy about is 'Mercy' but I, like you, love 'MySister's Keeper' and alson 'The Vanishing Acts'. Looks like this one is a must-read also.

  3. Jodi Picoult can also be hit or miss for me, but I definitely want to try this one. I'm glad you liked it.

  4. Of her books, I have only read My Sister's Keeper, which I though was excellent.
    Yes, she does love the controversial topics, doesn't she.

  5. I have this from the library...glad you enjoyed it...really looking forward this one!

  6. I didn't completely read your review because I'll be reading this one of these days. I just wanted to see if you had liked it and you did so all is good. I think one of my least favorite was her last one and I can't even remember the name of it right now.

  7. I recently got this one and I can't wait to read it. I keep hearing it is great!

  8. I've read several Picoult books, and most I've enjoyed. I hope to get to this one eventually. Glad to hear you enjoyed it.

    Diary of an Eccentric


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