Skip to main content

Review: "Inside the O'Briens" by Lisa Genova




From Goodreads:  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.


My Thoughts:  All I can say is 'WOW.'  I had no idea what to expect from this book but it was seriously one of the best books I've read this year.  It was beautifully written; it was heart-breaking and uplifting at the same time.  I spent a lot of the book in tears and had to put it down a few times because I was so overwhelmed by the emotions it evoked.

The story, at its heart, is about an average family dealing with a devastating disease.  While we get to know some characters more than others, they are all well-developed, strong and interesting.  Joe was such an inspirational character; to watch him receive a death sentence and just keep going and trying was really moving.  He had moments where he wanted to give up but overall, he really tried not to let the disease beat him and  he was so brave.  I also loved that he started walking around in t-shirts with information about Huntington's on it. 

I had never heard of Huntington's Disease before reading this book.  Despite knowing nothing about it, it seems to me that Ms. Genova must have done an extensive amount of research when writing this book.  There was so much information about the disease in the book.  I personally think she did a good job of incorporating this information into the story so it never felt unnecessary.

I didn't love the ending because it was kind of open-ended but I think it fit the story (I'm kind of selfish about endings, I want to know everything before it's over!).  I think as a whole this is a fantastic book that I will be recommending to everyone I know.  I now feel the need to read everything Ms. Genova has written because I loved this one so much! 4.5 stars.

I received this book from the publicist in exchange for an honest review.

Comments

  1. I found this to be very moving.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Glad u enjoyed this as well. HD is one of the worst and cruelest diseases ever.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Top Ten Books I Recommend The Most

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish . This week's topic:  Top Ten Books I Recommend the Most 1.) The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons   2.) Outlander by Diana Gabaldon           If you read my blog at all, you know I love these two books so much!  I am not afraid to suggest them to anyone who I think might enjoy them. 3.) The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins - I was definitely recommending this book left and right when the first movie came out. 4.) The Fault in Our Stars by John Green 5.) A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin           These are two books that I just recently started recommending but they are books that can appeal to anyone so they are easy picks when someone asks for a recommendation. 6.) Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead  - I get a little embarrassed when I recommend this book to people but seriously, just because it has vampires does not mean it is like Twilight. 7.) The Giver by Lois

Review and Giveaway: "Distant Signs" by Anne Richter

Synopsis: Distant Signs is an intimate portrait of two families spanning three generations amidst turbulent political change, behind and beyond the Berlin Wall. In 1960s East Germany, Margret, a professor’s daughter from the city, meets and marries Hans, from a small village in Thuringia. The couple struggle to contend with their different backgrounds, and the emotional scars they bear from childhood in the aftermath of war. As East German history gradually unravels, with collision of the personal and political, their two families’ hidden truths are quietly revealed. An exquisitely written novel with strongly etched characters that stay with you long after the book is finished and an authentic portrayal of family life behind the iron curtain based on personal experience of the author who is East German and was 16 years old at the fall of the Berlin Wall. Why do families repeat destructive patterns of behaviour across generations? Should the personal take precedence over

Review and Giveaway: "This Son of York" by Anne Easter Smith

Synopsis: Now is the winter of our discontent, Made glorious summer by This Son of York…” — William Shakespeare, Richard III Richard III was Anne’s muse for her first five books, but, finally, in This Son of York he becomes her protagonist. The story of this English king is one of history’s most compelling, made even more fascinating through the discovery in 2012 of his bones buried under a car park in Leicester. This new portrait of England’s most controversial king is meticulously researched and brings to vivid life the troubled, complex Richard of Gloucester, who ruled for two years over an England tired of war and civil strife. The loyal and dutiful youngest son of York, Richard lived most of his short life in the shadow of his brother, Edward IV, loyally supporting his sibling until the mantle of power was thrust unexpectedly on him. Some of his actions and motives were misunderstood by his enemies to have been a deliberate usurpation of the throne, but thr