Review: Handle with Care by Jodi Picoult

imagesSummary:  (Taken from jodipicoult.com)  When Charlotte and Sean O’Keefe’s daughter, Willow, is born with severe osteogenesis imperfecta, they are devastated – she will suffer hundreds of broken bones as she grows, a lifetime of pain. As the family struggles to make ends meet to cover Willow’s medical expenses, Charlotte thinks she has found an answer. If she files a wrongful birth lawsuit against her ob/gyn for not telling her in advance that her child would be born severely disabled, the monetary payouts might ensure a lifetime of care for Willow. But it means that Charlotte has to get up in a court of law and say in public that she would have terminated the pregnancy if she’d known about the disability in advance – words that her husband can’t abide, that Willow will hear, and that Charlotte cannot reconcile. And the ob/gyn she’s suing isn’t just her physician – it’s her best friend.

Review:  I have an issue with Jodi Picoult.  All her books are the same.  And yet I keep reading them.  And I confess, sort of liking them.  This book was no different.  It alternated voices every chapter, it included the lawyer’s story which I didn’t care about and it had the big melodramatic courtroom scene.  It also had the “unpredictable” ending which I saw coming from a mile away.  But somehow, damn you Jodi Picoult, I feel for the characters.  I loved little Willow, although I didn’t for one second believe she was only five years old.  I understood Charlotte’s sacrifice for her daughter and her husband’s unwillingness to go along with it.  And yes, I teared up in the end when we finally hear little Willow’s voice.  So even though her books are formulaic and predictable, I would have to say it is a formula which may appeal to the masses.

NY Times Best Sellers

Paperback Trade Fiction
Published: September 10, 2009

Books in purple I have read.

1 THE TIME TRAVELER’S WIFE, by Audrey Niffenegger. (Harvest/Harcourt, $14.95.) Life with a dashing librarian who travels back and forth through time.
2.   THE SHACK, by William P. Young. (Windblown Media, $14.99.) A man whose daughter was abducted receives an invitation to an isolated shack, apparently from God.
3 THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO, by Stieg Larsson. (Vintage, $14.95.) A hacker and a journalist investigate the disappearance of a Swedish heiress.
4 THE GUERNSEY LITERARY AND POTATO PEEL PIE SOCIETY, by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. (Dial, $14.) A journalist meets the island’s old Nazi-resisters.
5 OLIVE KITTERIDGE, by Elizabeth Strout. (Random House, $14.) A seventh-grade math teacher is the link in 13 stories set on the Maine coast; a 2009 Pulitzer winner.
6 THE LUCKY ONE, by Nicholas Sparks. (Grand Central, $13.99.) A Marine returning home sets out to track down the woman whose photo he found in Iraq.
7 THE ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN, by Garth Stein. (Harper Paperbacks, $14.99.) An insightful Lab-terrier mix helps his owner, a struggling race car driver.
8 THE WEIGHT OF SILENCE, by Heather Gudenkauf. (Mira, $13.95.) When a selectively mute girl and her best friend vanish, family secrets come to the fore.
9 PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES, by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith. (Quirk, $12.95.) The classic story, retold with “ultraviolent zombie mayhem.”
10 HOME, by Marilynne Robinson. (Picador, $14.) The events of the novel “Gilead,” revisited from another perspective.
11 THE ELEGANCE OF THE HEDGEHOG, by Muriel Barbery. (Europa, $15.) A young girl and a widowed concierge, both closet intellectuals, become friends.
12 THE ALCHEMIST, by Paulo Coelho. (HarperOne, $13.95.) A Spanish shepherd boy travels to Egypt in search of treasure.
13* THE LOVELY BONES, by Alice Sebold. (Back Bay/Little, Brown, $14.99.) A girl looks down from heaven as she describes the aftermath of her murder.
14 SARAH’S KEY, by Tatiana de Rosnay. (St. Martin’s Griffin, $13.95.) A contemporary American journalist investigates what happened to a little girl and her family during the roundup of Jews in Paris in 1942.
15 THE KITE RUNNER, by Khaled Hosseini. (Riverhead, $15.95 and $14.) An Afghan-American returns to Kabul to learn how a childhood friend has fared.
16 THE HOUR I FIRST BELIEVED, by Wally Lamb. (Harper Perennial, $15.99.) A couple flee to a Connecticut farm after the trauma of the Columbine shootings.
17 UNACCUSTOMED EARTH, by Jhumpa Lahiri. (Vintage Contemporaries, $15.) Stories about the anxiety and transformation experienced by Bengali parents and their American children.
18 MUST LOVE HELLHOUNDS, by IIona Andrews, Charlaine Harris, Nalini Singh and Meljean Brook. (Berkley, $15.) Novellas with devils, angels and more.
19* THE SHADOW OF THE WIND, by Carlos Ruiz Zafón. (Penguin, $16.) In 1945 Barcelona, a boy learns that someone is trying to destroy everything written by the author of a book that he loves.
20 A MERCY, by Toni Morrison. (Vintage International, $15.) In 17th-­century America, a slave mother urges a Northern farmer to buy her daughter so the girl can have a better life.