Monday, April 13, 2015

Inside the O'Briens

~ I received no compensation and opinions are 100% my own or my family. ~

Synopsis (from Amazon): From the New York Times bestselling author of Still Alice Lisa Genova comes a powerful and transcendent new novel about a family struggling with the impact of Huntington’s disease.

Joe O’Brien is a forty-four-year-old police officer from the Irish Catholic neighborhood of Charlestown, Massachusetts. A devoted husband, proud father of four children in their twenties, and respected officer, Joe begins experiencing bouts of disorganized thinking, uncharacteristic temper outbursts, and strange, involuntary movements. He initially attributes these episodes to the stress of his job, but as these symptoms worsen, he agrees to see a neurologist and is handed a diagnosis that will change his and his family’s lives forever: Huntington’s Disease.

Huntington’s is a lethal neurodegenerative disease with no treatment and no cure. Each of Joe’s four children has a 50 percent chance of inheriting their father’s disease, and a simple blood test can reveal their genetic fate. While watching her potential future in her father’s escalating symptoms, twenty-one-year-old daughter Katie struggles with the questions this test imposes on her young adult life. Does she want to know? What if she’s gene positive? Can she live with the constant anxiety of not knowing?

As Joe’s symptoms worsen and he’s eventually stripped of his badge and more, Joe struggles to maintain hope and a sense of purpose, while Katie and her siblings must find the courage to either live a life “at risk” or learn their fate.

One (or more) Sentence Summary: WOW!  Lisa stuns me again with another amazing book.  I was not aware of Huntington disease before reading Inside the O'Briens. It was very eye opening and reminded me not to judge people…I am not walking in their shoes.  Lisa has that ability to put us right in the middle of the family and go through exactly what they are dealing with during the story.  Just like Still Alice, I am left in awe and Inside the O'Briens is one of those books that will stay with me for a very, very long time.

Favorite Character(s):  Katie and Joe.  Their relationship was so special.  We learn so much about Katie and her struggles.  We learn and "feel" the progression of the disease through Joe and his family.  It all comes together through their relationship.  What a strong father and unbelievable daughter.  She is willing to put her own happiness and future on hold for her family.

Setting:  Boston! Loved it!

Fast read/slow read:  So, so fast. I was hooked to Inside the O'Briens from page one.  I couldn't get enough or read fast enough.  Once I was finished with the book, I wanted more.  I have to know more about the O'Briens.  Lisa is one to write sequels, but this s a PERFECT story for a sequel (Please Lisa….consider it).

Cover:  It says, home and family to me!

What Others Are Saying:  "This heartbreaking book tells the whole story of how a major illness affects a family. Genova’s gift is to show that things do work out, in a sense. Her very human novel teaches us to keep living, to lean on each other and be there to be leaned on.” (Matthew Thomas, New York Times bestselling author of WE ARE NOT OURSELVES)

"This novel of siblings rocked by their father's Huntington's disease is a total tearjerker, but ultimately it's a tribute to family love." (Glamour)

"An intimate, heartbreaking look at life with Huntington's disease." (Marie Claire)

Would I Read Other Books by the Author: I always do.  My first Lisa Genova book was Still Alice (still need to see the movie), Left Neglected was my second and Love Anthony was my third.  I can't wait for her fifth book!

Lisa Genova is the New York Times bestselling author of Inside the O'BriensLove Anthony,Left Neglected, and Still Alice. Her first novel, Still Alice, has been adapted into a film starring Julianne Moore, Alec Baldwin, and Kristen Stewart. Lisa graduated valedictorian from Bates College with a degree in biopsychology and holds a PhD in neuroscience from Harvard University. She travels worldwide speaking about Alzheimer’s disease, traumatic brain injury, and autism. She has appeared on Dr. OzThe Diane Rehm Show, CNN, Chronicle, Fox News, and Canada AM and is featured in the Emmy Award–winning documentary film To Not Fade Away. She lives with her family in Massachusetts.


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