23 August 2015

Review: Inside The O'Briens by Lisa Genova

Inside The O'Briens by Lisa Genova
Publisher: Gallery Books
Release Date: April 7, 2015
Book Format: Hardcover
# of Pages: 352
Synopsis: From award-winning, New York Times bestselling author and neuroscientist Lisa Genova comes a powerful new novel that does for Huntington’s Disease what her debut Still Alice did for Alzheimer’s.

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.

Praised for writing that “explores the resilience of the human spirit” (The San Francisco Chronicle), Lisa Genova has once again delivered a novel as powerful and unforgettable as the human insights at its core.

My Review: 
I borrowed Inside The O’Briens by Lisa Genova from work and this is my honest review.

After reading Still Alice another of Lisa Genova’s books I just had to pick up anything else she has written. That included picking up her newest, Inside The O’Briens as soon as it released. I enjoy Genova’s books for many reasons. But I think the main reason is because I have always been interested in medical stories and interested in studying diseases for a long time. Reading about these diseases and how they affect families is even more interesting.

Another thing I liked about this book was that it was set in Boston because it is so close to home. I recognized a lot of what the main characters were talking about like the places around Boston, Fenway Park and the Red Sox too of course. These family stories really got to me, throughout the whole book I got to know the family as if they were my own family. I cried when I found out Colleen was pregnant, and got angry every time Patrick did something stupid.

In this book, the disease of choice was Huntingtons. We met the O’Brien family, the man of the house, Joe as well as his wife Rose. Together they had four kids the oldest JJ, then Patrick, Meghan, and Katie. We got to see how this disease affected all of them separately, and together as well. Since their father, Joe was the one diagnosed all four children had a 50-50 chance of getting it. This meant that the whole book was crazy with finding out who had it and who did not. The one person I was really interested in seeing if they had the gene and at the end we did not get to find out. It was so angering but it made the book a little better somehow.

Overall the book was great, not as great as Still Alice but still great enough for me to want to read every other book she has written as well. 

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