Book 3 of Stephen King’s Summer Reading List: Handle with Care, by Jodi Picoult

a page-turner and a sad, sad story

A little girl has Osteogenesis Imperfecta, otherwise known as Brittle Bone Syndrome.  (Remember the story arc in 30 Rock where Jack almost marries a woman with “Avian Bone Syndrome”?  Same sort of thing.)  So she breaks bones constantly, and this is the story of how her mom, dad, and sister all deal with it.

I couldn’t put it down.  The characters are complex and interesting, dealing with difficult decisions and conflicting loyalties.  I imagine that many people with children that have severe disabilities struggle with some of the same issues.  Perri Klass, a pediatrician reviewing the book for the Washington Post said, “It’s well written, it’s conscientiously researched and, most important, it presents a character who is a child instead of a disability personified … [It] is a great read, with strong characters, an exciting lawsuit to pull you along and really good use of the medical context.” [1]

And yet, in the end, if I were to recommend a sad book to someone, I’d recommend A Fine Balance, by Rohinton Mistry, or Inheritance of Loss, by Kiran Desai, or The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, by Michael Chabon (which isn’t strictly sad but has definite sad parts; I cried several times).  I never got to tears on this one.

I probably won’t read any more Jodi Picoult, but I don’t regret having read one.  (This is the third book I’ve read from Stephen King’s recommended summer reading, published in Entertainment Weekly in May 2009, after Quinn’s Dog On It and Steinhauer’s The Tourist.  So far King is 3 for 3.)

 [1] Perri Klass, “A ‘Wrongful Birth’ Lawsuit, A Mother in Anguish,” Washington Post, 3 March 2009.

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4 thoughts on “Book 3 of Stephen King’s Summer Reading List: Handle with Care, by Jodi Picoult”

    1. I’ve been able to find them all at my local library. Maybe I’m lucky to have a good library, but some of them – say, the Dickens book and the Picoult book – are I think pretty accessible.

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