Handle with Care

by

Handle With Care

Author: Jodi Picoult

Title: Handle With Care

Genre: Audio Book, Literary Fiction, Women’s Lives

Publication Date: 2009

Number of Pages: 15 cds (approx. 18.5 hours)

Geographical Setting: New Hampshire

Time Period: Current

Plot Summary: Charlotte and Sean O’Keefe are the parents of Amelia and Willow.  Late in Charlotte’s pregnancy with Willow, they were informed that Willow had Osteogenesis Imperfecta, Type III (brittle bone disease).  They were told this would leave to hundreds of broken bones and disfigurement throughout her life.  The story takes place roughly 5 years later, when after a particularly bad break that leaves Willow incapacitated in a body cast Charlotte decides she should sue their former OBGYN for “wrongful birth”.  Charlotte believes they should have been informed earlier in the pregnancy that Willow would have such a complicated and painful life.  If they had been informed earlier, they would have had the choice to have an abortion.  This issue alone leads to a difficult and dramatic story.  However, in true Picoult style, there is an added twist- Charlotte’s OBGYN is her best friend Piper.  While the story may not have a particularly sweet or happy ending, the focus on family and unconditional love is strong.

This audiobook is narrated by a cast of 6 Recorded Book narrators which leads each character to have a very distinct voice.  The book is told from the viewpoint of each character with transitions beginning by announcing the name of which character will be speaking.  The story itself fast-paced with numerous cliff-hangers as well as interweaving storylines.  However, the talented narrators are able to lend enough emotion to the characters to allow the listener to bond with each one.  Even with the storyline bouncing from one character to the next, it is quite clear what is going on and the audiobook is easily followed.  Listeners will find it difficult to turn of the cd player as they are anxious to see what will happen next.

Subject Headings: Parenthood, Sisters, Friendship, Marriage, Medical Issues, Lawsuits, Medical Ethics, Disability

Appeal: Compelling, engrossing, fast-paced, detailed, dramatic, engaging, lifelike, multiple points of view, strong secondary characters, sympathetic, well-developed, character-centered, complex, domestic, family-centered, layered, multiple-plot lines, resolved ending, tragic, contemplative, emotionally-charged.

3 terms that best describe this book: Dramatic, hopeful, and complex

Similar Authors and Works

Non-Fiction:

  1. Living with Osteogenesis Imperfecta: A Guidebook for Families by Heidi Glauser: This guidebook helps families deal with Osteogenesis Imperfecta. It discusses treatment and other issues related to the disorder.
  2. What Life is Like Living with OI by Patricia Minor:  This book details the life of an adult woman who has OI and her daily struggles.
  3. Born on a Blue Day by Daniel Tammet:  This book describes living with a disorder that makes you just slightly different from everyone else.  The author details his coping mechanisms which also include being a savant.

Fiction:

  1. The Memory Keeper’s Daughter By Kim Edwards: This book is about a man who gives his newborn daughter away immediately after birth when he realizes she has Down’s Syndrome.
  2. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold:  The family in this book must struggle with their emotional distress after their young daughter is murdered.
  3. Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah:  This book follows the lives of two best friends and how their friendship is shaped and tested through the years.

Name: Madeline

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