Sunday 19 April 2015

Inside The O'Briens by Lisa Genova

Inside the O'Briens: A NovelInside the O'Briens: A Novel by Lisa Genova
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 2 days

Pages - 352

Publisher - Gallery Books

Blurb 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 Review

Joe O'Brien is an everyday kind of guy, he's a cop, he has a family and he is fourty four years old. When symptoms can no longer be ignored or be passed off Joe is tested for Huntington's disease and is positive. The story follows pre diagnosis, the introduction to Joe and his family and the progression of the disease and how it can affect a families lives.

I love this author, she takes hard subjects, diseases and brings them to the reader in an informative way that keeps the knowledge and seriousness of the disease at the forefront whilst giving it a human face. You get to know and care about a family and watch them try to deal with this condition, manage it, and deal with their own feelings as well as the aspertions from some of the town folk.

Joe and his family go on an emotional journal taking the reader with them, it packs quite a punch knowing it is a fictional story based around a very real condition. Not only has Genova brought the spotlight to a condition I hadn't had a great deal of knowledge on, she has also set up a fund for it. This lady does fantastic work educating through fiction and I hope she continues to write for a long time. 4/5 for me, thanks to Netgalley for providing me with a review copy in exchange for an honest review, this book is available to buy now.

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  1. Good review. A friend of mine has Huntington's in her family and decided to adopt her children rather than risk passing it on. It's horrible to live with knowing you might have it.

  2. This sounds very good and very powerful.

    It sounds like it really examines some of the terrible things that the randomness of existence can visit upon people. Realistic characters are so very important in a book like this. Based on your commentary it seems like this book has them.

  3. What a terrific review! I'm glad you enjoyed this book, Lainy! I don't know that much about Huntington's disease.


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