Handle with Care is the story of Willow, a young girl with Osteogenesis Imperfecta, or OI, brittle bone disease. Her bones break from the simplest of acts, bumping into a table, sitting down etc. Her mother, Charlotte, her father Sean, her sister Amelia are all impacted by Willow’s OI, keeping her safe, getting her the best medical care, and the cost of this care in financial and emotional strain is devastating.
On a special family trip to Walt Disney World, Willow falls, a bad break and ends up in the hospital. Upon seeing evidence of multiple breaks and healing the doctors call the police and child services. Her family forgot the letter they have that states her medical condition and whom to call if she is hurt. Sean is livid and returns home with a daughter in a body cast and another daughter who was ripped from her parents and his character judged. He wants to sue everyone. A visit to a high profile lawyer yields him little hope, but the lawyer plants a seed, one that Charlotte can’t get out of her head.
Wrongful birth……….if given the proper information early enough, should Willow have been born? The implications are shattering, Charlotte’s best friend Piper was her OB, should she have seen something earlier, was it medical negligence.
This is a great story, with real family dynamics and drama. Imagine how this could tear a family apart, imagine trying to tell your child you love her but just for now, to get some money to help with her care, you need to tell others you may not have had her………….unimaginable. There is a related back story with the lead lawyer, Marin, she was adopted and is searching for her mother and wonders if her mother would have had her if abortion had been a legal option.
The book was a bit too long in places and I was sad reading some sections and wanting to shake the mother with my bare hands that she was ripping them apart.
In the end, as with most Picoult books, there is a twist, a change, a startling end.
I enjoyed it, I learned much more about a devastating real disease, and when I hold my children a little closer I feel lucky to know they are not going to break.
I am going to use the same rating system used by goodreads for this and all future reviews, thanks Pam for helping me streamline my reviews.
I would give this book a 4 out of 5 stars I really liked it.