Thursday, March 12, 2009

Bookshelf: Handle With Care

This probably sums it up--me chatting with the author!

Columbus, Ohio: Hi Jodi! I wanted to say "Thank you" for writing such wonderful novels, but especially this latest one (I read it in one sitting!) and "My Sister's Keeper." I had cystic fibrosis (I had a double lung transplant in '05) and it is so wonderful to read books that speak to MY experience, and that of my families. Knowing that so many people read your books means, to me, that many more people will really understand my life. And, like Willow, I -love- my life! Thank you so much for making that clear in Handle With Care.

Jodi Picoult: Thank you SO much for saying that! I really wanted this book to leave people understanding that you can't be defined by a disability. You sound like you're living proof.

I loved Handle With Care. It is in the top three of Jodi P. books, the other two being My Sister's Kepper and Second Glance. The story revolves around the O'Keefe family--Charlotte, Sean (a police sergeant), Amelia, and Willow. Willow was diagnosed in utero with Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI), "brittle bone" disease, which causes her bones to break at the slightest provocation. Charlotte discovers that she can bring a wrongful birth lawsuit against her OB, saying that if she had known about Willow's condition, she would have aborted her. But the OB is also Charlotte's best friend. Charlotte doesn't really wish she hadn't had Willow, but the family needs the money for Willow's care. So--how do you tell a child you wish she'd never been born? HOw do you turn on your best friend?

Throughout the novel, all the characters (including Piper, the OB) are beautifully developed and given their own chapters, where they speak from their Point of View to Willow (who is you). The entire book is written in second person.

As with most of her books, the ending will leave you breathless. Definitely read this one.

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