Book Review : Handle with Care

June 3, 2009 book review 10


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.

10 Responses to “Book Review : Handle with Care”

  1. Tammy Howard

    I’ve only read one of her books, but I did like it. As an adopted person born before Roe v. Wade, I can sure relate to the lawyers story. The hubs is a child of a teen mom – and once in anger she said something to that effect to him. I don’t imagine you ever quite get over that…

  2. Casey

    I need a new book to read and I think I may have to try this one. It sounds very interesting. Thanks for all of your reviews!

  3. Denise

    Didn’t she write My Sister’s Keeper, the one that’s made into a movie coming out in a few weeks? The book sounds very intriguing. I’ll add it to my reading wish list.

  4. Cammie

    awesome review! I am on goodreads if you want to link up. I plan to get to this one eventually also. Some of her newer stuff does not have the shock twist at the end…the one I just read did not and Harvesting the Heart also did not. Wonder when she started doing that because most of her others do have a twist at the end

  5. Pam

    Years ago I read a book by Picoult, Plain Truth, I think and I really didn’t like it. Then about a year ago I kept hearing great things about her book Nineteen Minutes. I decided to try it and really liked it. I haven’t read anything else by her, though. I think her “pulled from the headlines” plots kind of turn me off. But she does seem to know how to write a book that really hooks you.

  6. Lisa

    I’m going to have to look for this one. I haven’t read any of her work. Thank you for providing this review!

  7. My name is PJ.

    I like the book very much, but it’s no surprise because Picoult is my favorite modern day author. Have you read all of her books? I hope so because you are a bibliophile like me, and Picoult addresses moral/ethical issues, making you understand where each of the characters is coming from…..and making you want to ring some of their necks. It’s a great talent, don’t you think?

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