Book Review: Handle with Care by Jodi Picoult

Willow O’Keefe had seven broken bones before she took her first breath.

Now her life is lived on a knife-edge.  Born with brittle bone disease, she will never learn to skate like her sister.  Even walking can be dangerous:  one wrong step and she is back in a cast.

The medical bills are crippling her family.  So when a lawyer tells Charlotte, her mother,   that they might have a case to sue for wrongful birth, she feels bound to consider it.

Except that winning would mean losing her best friend – and telling the world that she wishes her much-longed for, adored daughter had never been born…

This was my first experience of Jodi Picoult and I admit it wasn’t out of choice. I was on holiday with my teenage daughter and I had finished 2 others books. It was this or nothing.

I was expecting something aimed at young adults being as my daughter had read so many but now I realise that I was actually missing out and should have picked one up a long time ago.

From my limited experience of Jodi Picoult (now up to 3 read) I see she has a pattern in her writing. I like that each chapter is dedicated to a character as you do get a much more rounded version of events and as you don’t reach the conclusion until the very last page it keeps you guessing until the very end.

Handle with Care is the story of Willow and her family, how they cope with Willow’s brittle bone disease and the court case Willow’s mother Charlotte brings against her best friend Piper and doctor for malpractice. From the very beginning it’s easy and understandable to empathise with Charlotte but the heart of the story is does she make the right decisions? And in her shoes would we make the same decisions and choices that she does? This is what Picoult does best – she makes us put ourselves in her characters positions and imposes these moral dilemmas on the reader.

Willow never knew any different but was just making the most and best of what she had, I loved it when she went to the conference and was mixing with other kids just like her..something which made her feel accepted and not excluded. I had to sympathise with Amelia and her struggle for a normal life and to have her mothers love and attention and I was hoping in the end that there maybe a reconciliation between Charlotte and Piper.

Oh the recipes – I appreciate that these were included to embellish Charlotte’s cooking talent but I did find these a little tedious and tended to skip over these and haven’t been tempted to bake any!

Overall, a really good read. I think Picoult likes to educate her readers aswell, I learned alot about the condition from this book.

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