Literary Life    |    Reflections    |    Chasing My Bliss

Handle with Care

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Handle with Care by: Jodi Picoult
published: March 3rd, 2009 by Atria (first published 2008)
isbn13: 9780743296410
Hardcover, 477 pages

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

"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?" (from the back cover)
Although I normally enjoy Picoult's novels and controversial subject matters this book was a true disappointment. Any Picoult fan can tell you that she follows a formula -- which I normally enjoy. The problem with Handle with Care is that with the formula; it is too similar to My Sister's Keeper to not compare the two. There's a child with a medical issue, parents with personal issues, a sibling that is struggling with life and lawyers with long dragged out stories that have nothing to do with the main story line except to add a few extra hundred pages.

If you read My Sister's Keeper, you don't need to read this one to know how it will pan out or how it will end. The only part I enjoyed about this book was learning about Osteogenesis Imperfecta and how Picoult used recipes in the fronts of chapters to elaborate more. Other than that, a huge disappointment! I suggest either taking it out of the library or skipping it all together. It's not worth the purchase price on clearance.


Cindy said...

Love your reviews Mandy!

Lisa said...

Sorry to hear this was such a disappointment. It's hard enough to find a book a disappointment, but especially when it's an author you normally enjoy.

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"You know you've read a good book when you turn the last page and feel a little as if you have lost a friend." ~ Paul Sweeney