Author: Lisa Genova
Genre: Realistic Fiction, Standalone
Personal Rating: 4.5/5 (excellent)
Yearly Count: 14
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.
Alice :: Alzheimer's Joe :: Huntington's
What an eye-opening book! Knowing many facts about the disease is one thing, but experiencing it through the O'Briens is another. Lisa has a way of sharing her knowledge in a very personal, realistic and touching manner. After only picking it up a few times, it zipped by, making it a very fast read. There is a sense of suspense to it as well, but there were a couple of very poignant scenes that really make this a special book.
Thoughts of Joy
My thanks go to Gallery Books and NetGalley for providing me with this eGalley.