Willow O’Keefe had seven broken bones before she took her first breath.
Now her life is lived on 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 winning would mean losing her best friend – and telling the world that
she wishes her much-longed-for, adored daughter had never been born.
The book I read over half term was “Handle with Care” by Jodi Picoult.
This book takes you through the breakup and the struggle of a normal American family,
having to come to terms with their child’s disability. Willow has osteogenesis imperfecta, a brittle bone
disease. When she was born she had seven breaks and that continued to over 75
breaks just until she was 6.
Charlotte and Sean O’Keefe, Willow’s parents, are battling with the medical expenses but when
Charlotte thinks about a wrongful birth law suit, she thinks it’s for the
well-being of Willow and her older daughter Amelia. This book explores the
difficulties of family life and especially on Charlotte’s best friend Piper,
her husband Rob and their daughter Emma who is Amelia’s best friend.
I really like this book as each chapter, a different person tells it. From
Charlotte to Amelia, they all refer to Willow as “you”. It makes it seem as if
the book is dedicated to her. Only at the end Willow’s chapter comes in which
shows that she almost feels better and is well.
My favorite quote is:
You don’t have to say I love
you to say I love you,” you said with a shrug. “All you
have to do is say my name and I know.”
When I looked down at you, I was struck by how much of myself I could see in
the shape of your eyes, in the light of your smile. “Say Cassidy,”
“Ursula,” I parroted.
“Now….,” and you pointed to your own chest.
“Can’t you hear it?” you said. ” When you love someone, you say
their name different. Like it’s safe inside your mouth.”
I really like this quote as the scene between Charlotte and Willow is really relaxed
and emotional as Willow is only young but she understands so much.
My favourite character has to be Amelia as she has to cope with her sister’s
attention and the consequences of being shut out of the family. One of her quotes is
“Every time I think my
life sucks, I look at you and hate myself for thinking my life sucks”.
This quote is my favourite of Amelia’s as it portrays that even though she feels
shut off from her family, Willow is worst off and suffering the most.
Here is a youtube clip of the author herself, discussing the book:
You make think that this blog gives away the story line but there is much more
beneath the main foundations and much more to find out about the O’Keefes and many other characters e.g Marin Gates…
Jodi Picoult has written many books including a well-known “My Sisters Keeper”
which has been made into a film: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HP4NxUFgFrs
I would give “Handle with Care” ***** 5 out of 5 as it is really good and it is
written in a very clever way due to the way that Jodi Picoult has made the
chapters come from many people’s points of view.