Jackie's Reviews > Handle with Care

Handle with Care by Jodi Picoult
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's review
Dec 31, 2008

it was amazing
bookshelves: work-review-related-reading, 5-star
Read in December, 2008

I haven't read anything by Picoult in a few years, and I had forgotten how brilliant she is at blending multiple voices throughout a hefty, impressively researched novel. This book grabbed me hard and didn't let me go (sleep was lost, bus stops missed, etc). The personal, ethical, moral and social issues contained in this book will keep bookclubs talking for weeks.

The story, in a nutshell, is a mother of a precocious but severely disabled child decides, in order to get the cash necessary to keep up with her medical bills and special needs, to sue her obstetrician for "wrongful birth". This means that she must swear under oath that she should have been given all the facts about her daughter's illness in time to have an abortion. The same child that she adores, who is old enough and smart enough to understand what her mother is saying, but not why she is saying it.. Add to that the fact that her best friend is the doctor she is suing. In a small town. As you can see, the scenario is fraught with dramas and dilemmas even without side stories about her lawyer and her other daughter running throughout. There is a twist, at the very end, that will knock the breath out of you (I'm still stunned by so bold a plot turn myself).

One thing I disliked about the book is the recipes running throughout it--Charlotte, the main character, was a pastry chef before Willow's problems forced her into being a stay home mom, so they aren't completely out of place, but I felt like they did more to disrupt the flow of the book than add dimension to it. Still, I give it 5 stars with no hesitation.

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Comments (showing 1-20 of 20) (20 new)

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message 1: by Eva (last edited Jan 01, 2009 02:44AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Eva Leger I AM JEALOUS! I haven't found this anywhere yet and it's the only one I haven't read besides Wonder Woman. I need to order it from amazon this week because I love Picoult- I'm so happy to hear it was so good!

Oh! I had no idea it wasn't out yet! I've heard the title for so long- did you get an ARC? Now I'm even more jealous! LOL

Jackie I do have an ARC--the book isn't due out until March. But it's SOOOOOOOOOO worth waiting for!

message 3: by Eva (new) - rated it 5 stars

Eva Leger I'm going to pre-order as soon as possible because she's one of my top three authors of all time. I love every single book she's written, some more than others, but I've loved them all. Have you read the one called Wonder Woman and how in the world do I get involved with this ARC getting?! LOL

Jackie I haven't read WW yet, though I'll get to it eventually! lol I really do like her stuff, even though they can be painful at times given their subject matter.

I work for a very large independent bookstore and over the years I've become a reader and reviewer for the staff and then IndieNext and just about anybody who is willing to read my reviews. Bookstore jobs don't pay much, but the fringe benefits are dynamite!

message 5: by Eva (new) - rated it 5 stars

Eva Leger I read your about me section after I sent that comment because I think you mentioned this to me awhile ago.
I'm a stay at home mom so maybe I need to be thinking about getting a part time job!! LOL I'd love to be able to get some books before they come out and I've often thought about any discount alone would be worlds worth it for me!

Jackie It can be hard to come away with a paycheck sometimes, lol. I've had several jobs in my life, but I have to say that being a bookseller is my favorite. I love to talk about books, but I've never been very good at the bookclub model of everyone reading the same thing in the same time frame so they can meet and discuss it. But working at a bookstore, you have no idea what the next customer is going to ask about, which is challenging and fascinating each and every day.

message 7: by Eva (new) - rated it 5 stars

Eva Leger That is me to a T! You just described me as well as yourself! LOL I always try book clubs that meet to discuss something and I'm no good but I do love the discussions questions some books have in the back. I love thinking about the books and I love talking about them but not in any organized way. Wow. I never really even stopped to think about it like that. This is definitely something to think about since my daughter will start preschool this coming Sept. and I'll have some time on my hands each week.
Thanks for opening my eyes Jackie! (I'm still way jealous of you!) LOL

message 8: by Eva (new) - rated it 5 stars

Eva Leger Jackie- I bought Handle With Care the other day and am almost done. You were SO very right. It was worth the wait. I already knew it would be because there is nothing I've read by her that I haven't either totally loved or at least REALLY LIKED but this has to be one of the best hands down IMO.
I actually wish it was twice as long because I don't want it to end. She really is amazing.

Jackie I'm so glad it met your expectations! Let me know what you think of the ending.

message 10: by Eva (new) - rated it 5 stars

Eva Leger I'm on the last few pages right now. I only put it down to check my RSS feed for a swapping site! LOL I think I have about 6 pages to go so I'll review it in an hour or so.
I'm always amazed at how she can take such hot button issues and turn them around and give you so many different sides. Other authors do the same thing but none anywhere near as well as she, none that I've ever found anyway.
You don't know of any authors who are similiar in writing do you? I think there are only two Picoult books I haven't read yet so once those are done I'll be waiting on her! I need to find someone like her but I don't think I'll have much luck!

Jackie Have you read any of Chris Bohjalian's stuff? He researches the heck out of stuff and brings in mulitiple perspectives to his stories. I'm not saying he's exactly like Picoult, but I think you'd like his stuff. I HIGHLY recommend his "Trans-Sister Radio". Lionel Shriver's "We Need To Talk About Kevin" is excellent. I also strongly recommend "Before I Wake" by Robert J. Wiersama and "Sarah's Key" by Tatiana de Rosnay.

message 12: by Eva (new) - rated it 5 stars

Eva Leger Thanks Jackie! I knew you'd think of something for me! :D I have the Shriver book- I actually got that a few months ago and haven't started it yet. I do have Midwives by Bohjalian but I think that's all I have by him. Have you read that one? I keep hearing a lot about it. I will definitely look at these other ones too- I've heard of the other one by Bohjalian but the last two you mentioned I've never heard of. I'm actually going to go look at the listings right now. :D

Jackie Midwives is good, but Trans-Sister blew me away. I'm glad I was able to make you aware of some great books!

Twoegirlz ended up here after I read Jodi Picoult's Handle with Care. I am currently reading We need to talk about Kevin. Bohjalian is awesome. LOVED Double Bind and Trans Sister... Midwives is on my to read. I will check out the other two authors Jackie mentioned. Thanks for the info.

message 15: by Eva (new) - rated it 5 stars

Eva Leger Picoult is awesome, I've loved every single thing she's written and am looking forward to 2010 already because of her! LOL
How is We Need To Talk....? I wanted that so bad and finally got ahold of it, started it and couldn't get into it. I was only a few pages when I stopped. I kept it, as I always do in that situation, so I'll start again someday but the premise sounds awesome and then the book started kind of flat for me. Are you liking it?

♥ Marlene♥ O yes I love the Lionel Shriver book. Eva you should read it.
Wow, what a book this was. Handle with Care!

Eva At first I also struggled to get into the Kevin book but I am so glad i sticked with it. it is deep and very thought provoking.

message 17: by Eva (new) - rated it 5 stars

Eva Leger Thanks Marlene! You know I value your opinion so that means a lot to me. I may even get it out of storage the next time I go. I wanted it for so long before I found it and it upset me that I couldn't get into it like that. I just know I'll like it if I can stick with it a little longer than before.

♥ Marlene♥ Well I do not want you not to enjoy a book but I remember it was hard for me to get in at first so I do understand.

I do know that it was my favorite book of the year i read it. 2009? Hugs
p.s I am nearly done with Gary C Kings book rage and I think I will pick Harvesting the heart by Jodi Picoult. I also have Change of Heart. are they both good?

message 19: by Eva (new) - rated it 5 stars

Eva Leger Oh God yes. I loved them both. lol They're two of my favorites of hers. I couldn't even pick one to say I liked better.
I saw your post about King and I'm so jealous! The t.c. I'm reading now is hard to put down actually. Maybe I'm missing the genre and that's why but it's really awkward reading about this 12 year old doing this most grown women wouldn't even think of....

Louise I absolutely loved this book. Learning about every character and seeing the situation from every characters point of view. Picoult always manages to keep you torn between characters, not knowing who to choose as the character in the right or wrong. I was slightly disappointed with the final chapter ending... It was definitely a shock. However even though I didn't like it, and it did have me crying rather a lot, I completely understand why she ended the book the way she did, that final moral of the story still stays strong in my mind now. Also I really liked the added cake recipes, I thought they gave u a little more of the character and a slight break from the intense story.

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