Joe O’Brien is a forty-four-year-old police officer from the Irish Catholic neighborhood of Charlestown, Massachusetts. A devoted husband, proud fatheJoe 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?
This was an honest and eye-opening novel about a terrible and deadly disease and one family's experiences with it. It was so well written-- it informs and educates people about Huntington's disease, said to be the cruelest disease known to man. The characters were so well written and believable, I felt like I knew them. I felt their anger, fear, frustration and struggles they had in dealing with this disease. I especially loved Joe and how fiercely he loved his wife and children. I can't imagine how horrible you would feel knowing that you have possibly passed a gene on to them that will eventually cause them to suffer terribly and then die. So heartbreaking. I was so impressed with how Joe chose to enjoy the time he has left and be a positive role model for his children, leaving us with a feeling of hope amid all the despair and sadness. I also could relate with Katie and the struggles she had to decide if she wanted to know or if she was better off not knowing. Personally I think I would want to know, but I would have a hard time making that decision and would likely go back and forth just like she did. I hated and loved the ending--it wasn't the one I wanted, but after thinking about it, it stayed true to the tone of the book and was probably appropriate. I also hated all the F bombs. I understand Genova was portraying a tough Boston cop, but there just ended up being too many for me. That being said, it was a very good book, an emotional read that I will remember for a long time.
“As they lurch down the hallway and finally make it to the kitchen, it occurs to Joe that this is the best anyone can hope for in life. Someone you love to stagger through the hard times with.”
Thanks to the publisher and Net Galley for providing me with a copy of this book....more
Tallulah de Longland and Annabelle Andrews were the best of friends from the day they met at St Rita's in Grade Seven. For the next six years they werTallulah de Longland and Annabelle Andrews were the best of friends from the day they met at St Rita's in Grade Seven. For the next six years they were inseparable, finding in each other an ally against Sister Scholastica, The Piranha Sisters and the eccentricities of their respective families. They share a secret language, confidences about their unusual mothers, first loves, and growing up in the small, coastal town of Juniper Bay. And then on the day of their high school graduation, Lulu discovers Annabelle in the arms of Joshua Keaton, and her future lays in tatters.
Although some parts of the story were unrealistic, I enjoyed reading it and never lost interest. I felt like the opening chapter was a bit distracting. I would have preferred it to show up in chronological order the way it happened, than to be shocked by the first chapter and spending half of the book wondering whT led to the encounter described in the first chapter. Both girls' mothers were very interesting. I liked the way this author handled Rose's character and her mental illness--more in a positive way. Naming the dresses was a clever way to help depict the way Rose was feeling. Also I was glad that Frank and Harry were able to rekindle their friendship and help each other out. The bed and breakfast was a great idea. Too bad it didn't turn out as originally planned.
It's not how far you fall, but how high you bounce.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review and participation in a book discussion. ...more
Fifteen year old Lindy Simpson lives in the upper middle class neighborhood of the Woodland Hills subdivision in Baton Rouge in 1989. So when she is rFifteen year old Lindy Simpson lives in the upper middle class neighborhood of the Woodland Hills subdivision in Baton Rouge in 1989. So when she is raped one summer evening, it sends shock waves through the idyllic neighborhood where, in the late '80s the kids roamed free and safe through the streets and in the woods that surrounded their homes. The book's narrator is Lindy's neighbor, a boy a summer away from starting high school and in love with Lindy to the point of obsession. He reveals in the final sentences of the first chapter that "I should tell you now that I was one of the suspects. Hear me out. Let me explain."
He goes on to introduce us to all the suspects, including himself, and in this way I was sucked into the story. The first third of the book was very good, and then it started getting a little uncomfortable to read. The narrator was completely honest as he guides us through his life and the summer that changed him forever. I had to keep reading to see if he was guilty or not because as he told his story, parts became creepy and hard to read. He was obsessed with Lindy--he watches her from his window, from a tree outside her house, and fantasizes about her.
He then wanders away from the story to tell about Hurricane Katrina and compares Baton Rouge to New Orleans. Unnecessary to the storyline and distracting if you ask me. We finally do get resolution at the end but after all that was revealed in the storytelling, I found it to be disappointing. I know the most important part of this story was supposed to be in the telling of it, not in the revelation of the guilty party, but it didn't work that way for me. This is more literary fiction than a thriller, and while there are parts that are well done and beautifully written, I just couldn't like the story very much. After reading many reviews, it looks like I am in the minority on this one and it just may be the next big hit....more
Sophie Leigh’s real name is Sophie Sykes. But she hasn’t been called that for years, not since she became an A-list movie star. Living in Hollywood, sSophie Leigh’s real name is Sophie Sykes. But she hasn’t been called that for years, not since she became an A-list movie star. Living in Hollywood, she can forget all about her old life in England and the tragedy she left behind. But in the process, she’s lost something of herself, too. Eve Noel didn’t choose her name. A Hollywood producer did. In fact, he makes all the decisions for her—what to wear, when to smile, who to love. A product of the 1950s, Eve has none of Sophie’s modern self-confidence, but she knows she must follow her heart. One day, she simply vanishes: no one knows where she went, or why… As Sophie’s perfect-on-the-outside world begins to crumble, it seems her life might be linked to Eve’s. Sophie must unravel the mystery around Eve’s disappearance to save them both.
This book was slow starting for me. The second half was much better. The story alternates between Sophie and Eve. The first chapter is about Eve, when she was a young girl, but then her chapters are few and far between. For me, Eve had the stronger story and I had a hard time liking Sophie until the end. Sophie just seemed to be a spoiled, selfish girl who is sleeping with her producer. I really enjoyed the reading the letters between Don and Eve. They helped to piece together what happened to Eve after she disappeared. It was fairly obvious to me who was threatening Sophie and I was quite surprised she didn't handle things better than she did. The ending was satisfying for both women, I especially liked how things went for Eve.
Overall, a different and somewhat interesting read, but the politics of being a film star are too much for me and I really don't like the ways things are in Hollywood-- the attitudes and behaviors of most celebrities, producers, and directors. This book shows some of the negative parts of being a famous film star.
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review and participation in an online discussion. 2.5 stars...more