Handle With Care – Jodi Picoult

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672 pages

Published: June 2015

Publisher: Pocket Books

Genre: Adult Fiction, Family, Medical

“Every expectant parent will tell you that they don’t want a perfect baby, just a healthy one. Charlotte and Sean O’Keefe would have asked for a healthy baby, too, if they’d been given the choice. Instead, their lives are made up of sleepless nights, mounting bills, the pitying stares of “luckier” parents, and maybe worst of all, the what-ifs. What if their child had been born healthy? But it’s all worth it because Willow is, well, funny as it seems, perfect. She’s smart as a whip, on her way to being as pretty as her mother, kind, brave, and for a five-year-old an unexpectedly deep source of wisdom. Willow is Willow, in sickness and in health.” Everything changes, though, after a series of events forces Charlotte and her husband to confront the most serious what-ifs of all. What if Charlotte should have known earlier of Willow’s illness? What if things could have been different? What if their beloved Willow had never been born? To do Willow justice, Charlotte must ask herself these questions and one more. What constitutes a valuable life? (Goodreads)

My Thoughts:

This is the third book of Jodi Picoult’s I have finished. I can tell that this is the best so far.

Some of the first pages made me terrified. Jodi wrote about labor, an abnormal labor to be specific. While I read this book I was shivering, wondering, and scared. The baby was premature and there was some mistakes when the doctor do the C section. When I turn to the next page and found the word ‘fracture’ I instantly thought ‘What the hell did you do, Doctor? You broke a baby!!’ I found that the situation was chaos. Then I re-read the synopsis, it’s about Down syndrome, but…

It wasn’t about Down syndrome. It was about osteogenesis imperfecta. I don’t know if OI is an indication of Down syndrome or something related, but it was about OI. So, the baby was broken and it wasn’t the doctor’s fault. At least not entirely, but I still felt sorry for blaming her. It sounds stupid, but when I read a book I become the part of the story. I will laugh, cry, giggle, mad, angry, etc. Linda and Asma are used to know me when I’m reading a book.

This is Jodi Picoult I talk about, so the story would be about family’s problems. And just like the first two books, I saw the mother is the one to blame. Besides medical issues, Jodi also wrote about laws and it was new for me. I remember in The 10th Circle and Harvesting The Heart she wrote about love and children, but in this book she discuss about friendship, too. It was complex because there were too many kind of emotions, but not complicated.

The black sheep of the family was Charlotte, the mother. I must admid that I also mad and hate hate her. I even thought she’s worse than Laura in The Tenth Circle and the mother figure in Harvesting The Heart. She did more than killing a person and abandon her daughter as well as her husband. She ruined everything.

While I read it I tried to find a clue, just one thing that can make me change my mind about her. There’s nothing. Nothing until the story was almost over. At that time I thought, maybe I would do the same thing as Charlotte did, too. The reason is simple:

“I think you can love a person too much. You put someone up on a pedestal, and all of a sudden, from that perspective, you notice what’s wrong – a hair out of place, a run in a stocking, a broken bone. You spend all your time and energy making it right, and all the while, you are falling apart yourself. You don’t even realize what you look like, how far you’ve deteriorated, because you only have eyes for someone else.”


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