Handle with Care Author:Jodi Picoult Things break all the time. — Day breaks, waves break, voices break. — Promises break. — Hearts break. — Every expectant parent will tell you that they don't want a perfect baby, just a healthy one. Charlotte and Sean O'Keefe would have asked for a healthy baby, too, if they'd been given the choice. Instead, their lives are made up... more » of sleepless nights, mounting bills, the pitying stares of "luckier" parents, and maybe worst of all, the what-ifs. What if their child had been born healthy? But it's all worth it because Willow is, well, funny as it seems, perfect. She's smart as a whip, on her way to being as pretty as her mother, kind, brave, and for a five-year-old an unexpectedly deep source of wisdom. Willow is Willow, in sickness and in health.
Everything changes, though, after a series of events forces Charlotte and her husband to confront the most serious what-ifs of all. What if Charlotte should have known earlier of Willow's illness? What if things could have been different? What if their beloved Willow had never been born? To do Willow justice, Charlotte must ask herself these questions and one more. What constitutes a valuable life?« less
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Jodi Picoult is a very talented writer. She has this wonderful ability to make you see all sides of an issue, and to reach deep inside your self to drag out feelings you sometimes didn't even know you had. I have loved most of her books, as has my daughter. However, we both are getting tired of two things that the majority of her books have in common, especially lately.
The first drawback is that they are SO depressing for the most part. The second thing is that, especially in the last two we've read, we have little to no sympathy for the mother. In fact she is quite despicable! While that's an important and sometimes integral character development in some stories, it just seemed wasteful and unnecessary here. I feel Ms. Picoult could have shown the thoughts and feelings the mother was having without making her readers almost hate the woman.
I was almost at the end of the book, thinking that it looked as if we finally might at the very least get a decent ending out of the whole thing. I'm sorry to say, it was not to be.
I have read every single one of her books, but this reader has had enough! Unless I find out from others that this trend has changed for the better, I'll be skipping over the rest of her books.
I typically love Jodi Picoult's work, but this was not one of my favorites. Normally, I can hardly put her books down--this was not one of those books. It was not bad... just not one of my favorites. The whole thing is one big "Debbie Downer" story, and then the end... good grief! I'm all about tough situations, building on the characters.... the things she is known for writing about.... but there was never a moment of relief in this one. Like other reviewers, I was also not a fan of the style this one was written in (as if everyone was speaking directly to Willow). I have another Picoult book waiting to be read, but I think I'm going to explore something along the lines of "Confessions of a Shopaholic" first. I need to laugh a little before I tackle another one of her books!
I am a long time fan of Jodi Picoult's work but have been disappointed with her last few efforts. This was no different. While the premise is interesting and the story is told in many voices, I was distracted by the form of the novel in which the characters speak to directly to Willow. And what's with the recipes? Charlotte is no longer a pastry chef. Once the story has been set up with the child's rare disease, it doesn't go anywhere from there. There is nothing new here. We all know what a debilitating illness does to the family, friendships and free time. We all know how much it costs the family physically, emotionally and financially. The endless storytelling about the fractures that Willow sustains and how they have to care for her was boring and too much. Once the family went ahead with the lawsuit, I knew how it would end. Charlotte's character is flawed and unsympathetic - I didn't care for her. Midway through the book I didn't care enough to finish it and skipped to the end. Contrived and very disappointing. I will not spend any more money on Ms. Picoult's books in the future.
This was another good book by this author, although I don't feel it was as well-done as previous ones I had read by her. The ending was too predictable and there seems to be a definite pattern in the writer's style.
However, I do really appreciate how there is a change of fonts whenever we read from the point-of-view of a different character. It breaks up chapters better so the story doesn't just melt into one big blob.
I also thought the recipes were an interesting touch. To me, they represented something lost by Charlotte in what she had to give up in order to care for her disabled daughter. But, I suppose the recipes also represent that even though a lot of hard work may go into something so wonderful, it cannot last forever.
Of course, regardless of how yummy the recipes sounded, I couldn't stand Charlotte's character. She was manipulative, greedy and a hypocrite. I couldn't help but feel, a lot of times, that when she was saying she only wanted the best for her daughter, she really meant that she wanted things to be easier for her.
On a light note, there was a laugh-out-loud moment in this book when one of the characters was dumped via Facebook. I have just recently started participating in the site, so luckily I had a visual of what was going on.
Overall, I did find the book a good read and will continue to read more by this author. I always look forward to seeing what she will open up our eyes with next.
As with all her other books, I absolutely loved this one! The story is so compelling, as again, she presents two sides of an issue of which you, the reader, may find yourself going back and forth on. It is not only about an illness that is debilitating to the child, the family, and friends, but also about moral and loyalty issues that are crossed. I could not put this down. As with many of her other stories, I sat on my seat wondering how it would end and which issue would win out. This one has a surprising twist to the story though at the conclusion.
One note though: as with many of her other novels, Jodi tends to place things (comics, poems, and in this book, recipes) in between some of the chapters. I find them distracting and tend to skip over them. The final detail of this story is in the last recipe so it will be important to the plot that it is read.
What constitutes a valuable life...this is the question charlotte and sean O'keefe had to ask if their beloved willow had never been born...were they given the choice earlier enough in the pregancy to make the choice,when your best friend was the obgyn..is she responsible for not making your choice clear...what would you do? this is a very interesting book, as is all of Jodi Picoult's book are..