“Reality depends on perspective, on what is paid attention to.”
43rd – Inside the O’Briens by Lisa Genova
Rating: (Good read, definitely)
What is it about: 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.
What I Love: How the story unfolds.
The explanatory prelude.
The rawness of the characters and their individuality.
The lovely picture of a family battling a hard disease with strength, love and hope.
What I Don’t Love Much: None. 4 stars rating is because I love Lisa Genova’s Love Anthony and Still Alice more. 🙂
Wise Words: “Once you can imagine these things, you can’t unimagine them.”
“Every breath is a risk. Love is why we breathe.” –Katie