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Handle With Care - Jodi Picoult

Posted by on April 24, 2011

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 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?

Emotionally riveting and profoundly moving, Handle with Care brings us into the heart of a family bound by an incredible burden, a desperate will to keep their ties from breaking, and, ultimately, a powerful capacity for love. Written with the grace and wisdom she’s become famous for, beloved #1 New York Times bestselling author Jodi Picoult offers us an unforgettable novel about the fragility of life and the lengths we will go to protect it.

Review: Another brilliantly written book by Jodi Picoult. I don’t think she has written anything bad if I am honest. That being said, this was probably the saddest and hardest Picoult book I have read so far. Reading about all of the bone breaks little Willow has has to endure, and the sadness and loneliness that Amelia (Willow’s sister) feels when Willow is constantly in the forefront of her mothers mind. This was such a sad and real book.

Any Jodi Picoult book you read will always have the same type of format, I think it’s fair to say. She is the queen of the Topical Novel! Each book is based on something that people may consider a controversial issue, or a moral dilemma and she presents both sides through the perspectives of the characters affected in the book. Inevitably, her books always end up in a court room, whether one party sues the other (as happens in Handle With Care) or someone is arrested for breaking the law, and we are presented with that case.

She has this amazing way of making you question what you thought you always believed in. Me for instance, with this book, initially thought Charlotte was completely in the wrong for suing her own best friend. I was gobsmacked. But as the book progressed, and I heard both sides, my opinion softened. I thought, well maybe I can see why she’s done that. These revelations happen EVERY time I read another of her books.

The one major let down for me in this book, and the reason it’s not rated 5 stars is the ending. Wow. It was SO disappointing. And I won’t ruin the book for those who haven’t read it. But I just was left asking.. Why would you do that? Why would you end it like that after everything that has just happened in this book? Argh! Again… disappointing. The rest of the book was amazing though. So I don’t want people to feel dissuaded from reading it based on the ending ALONE. Give the book a chance, the rest is really very good.

Rating: 4 out of 5

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