Sunday, March 08, 2015


Author:  Lisa Genova
Genre:  Realistic Fiction, Standalone
Published:  2015
Personal Rating:  4.5/5 (excellent)
Format:  eBook
Yearly Count:  14

From NetGalley:
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.


  1. I haven't read any of her work yet and need to get with it!

    1. Bermudaonion ~ Yes you do! :)

  2. I agree. I've really enjoyed Lisa Genova's books for putting a "face" to some very sad neurological conditions and diseases. And I liked this one very much.

    1. Kay ~ I think she's amazing with her words. I like learning that way.

      I can't keep up with reading your blog! You have been a reading machine!!! :) :) :) However, I usually only do a cursory glance at posts, if I'm going to read the book. I don't like knowing much about it. I'll be back to see what I can read in full, because I didn't realize that you have read this one.

    2. I didn't write a review of it. Read it before I came back to blogging. Will have it on a Waiting on Wednesday post this next week.

    3. Kay ~ Ooooooohhhhhhhh. Okay. What about the Casey books? Can you give me a very generalized description?

    4. Police procedural with humor. Female protagonist. I think if you like Linda Castillo's Kate, you might like Maeve Kerrigan. You should try The Burning, the first book. It's British - there is swearing and Josh Derwent takes a little getting used to - but I see beneath his sexist swagger now.

    5. Kay ~ UGH! Se*ist swagger!?! Thanks for the warning. : /

      I do like Castillo's Kate, so I may give Kerrigan's series a try. I believe I have a couple in the series.

  3. I saw Still Alice onscreen a few weeks ago and was blown away by Julianne Moore's performance. I have the book but haven't read it yet. Hopefully I'll be able to get to it soon. This one looks good too. The only thing I know about Huntingtons is from Olivia Wilde's character on the tv show House (I miss that show!).

    1. Stacybuckeye ~ I saw Still Alice, too, and while I thought it was done well, as always, I walked out and said I liked the book better. :) I actually liked it WAAAAAY better. :) :)


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