Top positive review
65 people found this helpful
My Sister's Keeper revisited
on 22 March 2009
I am a great fan of Jodi Picoult, I've read 8 of her books - and therein lies the problem - she is starting to become very formulaic. Handle With Care is very reminiscent of My Sister's Keeper, with brittle bone disease in place of leukemia.
Willow (what a wonderful name!) is born with OI - Osteogenesis imperfecta. Before birth seven bones have broken and healed, by the time she's five, she's suffered over 50 breaks. Her whole life is centred around avoiding danger, where a small slip may result in a hospital visit. Her older sister, Amelia, loves her dearly but also feels very ostracised by the effects of the disease and the time her parents must spend with Willow.
Income is tight, Willow's Dad is a police officer and her Mum was once a pastry chef. The disease is financially crippling, for special wheelchairs, physiotherapy not covered by insurance etc. So when Charlotte discovers that she can sue her obstetrician (who also happens to be her best friend) for not informing her about Willow's condition with enough time to abort, she sees it as a solution to their financial problems; allowing Willow the necessary support and equipment that they are struggling to fund.
This causes all sorts of stresses within the family, interactions that are beautifully covered by the author. To my mind, this is where Jodi Picoult excells. She's also brilliant with the reality of living with disability and the effects it has on a family.
I didn't think the spasmodic recipies served much purpose, while obviously intended to have a double meaning, they seemed a bit unnecessary.
While I still admire Picoult's depiction of sibling interactions and parental heart searching, I am tiring of the ubiquitous court case and the story line is starting to feel very familiar. She is a wonderful writer but needs to find a fresh angle surprise us again.