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Inside the O'Briens

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3.99  ·  Rating details ·  36,540 Ratings  ·  5,028 Reviews
The breathtaking new novel from the author of STILL ALICE, now adapted into an Oscar-winning film starring Julianne Moore.

What would you do if the body and brain you rely on suddenly let you down - and would it change the person you are inside? Joe O'Brien is a Boston cop; his physical stamina and methodical mind have seen him through decades policing the city streets, whi
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Paperback, 335 pages
Published 2015 by Simon & Schuster
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Petra X
To sum up in one word: Meh. In one sentence: stereotypical characters who have to face a single dilemma which can be solved in one of two ways and some choose one and some the other. The rest of this review is an elucidation of those two points.

First there was Still Alice which was a brilliant story of the devastation of early-onset Alzheimer's told by Alice herself. Then there was Left Neglected, about the disorder where the body does not recognise one half of the world, including itself. This
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Will M.
I would like to thank Netgalley for providing me with an arc, in exchange for an honest review.

Huntington's Disease is a cruel disease. Once you're gene positive, there's no way out of it. The symptoms are terrible and will worsen over time. I can only feel sympathy toward people who have this merciless disease. As a future doctor, it only pains me to see how hopeless this disease is right now, but I have faith that one day there will be cure for this. It's only a matter of time.

While there are
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Debbie "DJ"
Dec 27, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: health, netgalley
I really liked Genova's book "Inside the O'Brians." She has a way of pulling me into the heart, soul, and life of so many different diseases. This story is about Huntington's Disease, and was told through the life of the O'Brian family. I enjoyed the Irish Catholic setting, a culture where family is highly valued. Of course this made it all the tougher, as the father is diagnosed leaving all four of his children with a 50/50 chance of inheriting the disease themselves. This is where the story le ...more
Kelli
Jan 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Pass the tissues...this one is a tearjerker (pronounced here as teeya jahkah). Both tragic and triumphant, this moving story was very difficult for me to put down. I was invested and engaged from the first page. Once again the incomparable Lisa Genova gives a face to a rare but devastating disease and places us in the home, heart, and mind of a family left to live with a diagnosis that has leveled them at the knees and will change all of their lives forever. This is a diagnosis that makes one se ...more
Debbie
Man, what a good read! On the surface, this is simply the story of a close-knit working-class family that suddenly has to face the horrors of the fatal Huntington’s Disease (HD) when Joe, a cop, learns he has the disease and he gradually becomes more and more incapacitated.

But put this simple story into the hands of a writer such as Genova, and you have a masterpiece. The way she describes this family without drowning in sentimentality is an art. Genova’s pacing is spot on, her sentences pure,
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Diane S ☔
Sep 12, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 Once again, Genova takes a regular family, a family that could be yours or mine, and touchingly portrays this family confronted with extraordinary events. In this case the family is Irish Catholic, living in Boston, Joe is a police officer, he and his wife have four grown children. They have the usual problems, not enough time, a grown son still trying to find his way, testing their patience, one son married, and two daughters both somewhat settled in their careers. Life is good but hectic u ...more
Shaily
Feb 25, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
*NetGalley ARC*

Because I enjoyed Still Alice so much, I had high hopes going into this book. Unfortunately, I didn't love reading Inside the O'Briens. Half the time, I felt like I was reading a textbook on Huntington's Disease with some examples of how a family is affected thrown in for good measure.

Although it was good to get more than just Joe's perspective, Katie was an annoying character. Her chapters were the same wishy-washy words of should I, should I not, yoga, I don't know HD HD HD. I
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Maxine (Booklover Catlady)
Sometimes a book educates you on matters you were unaware of but should not have been - like Huntington's Disease and how it destroys a person in the most cruelest of ways. Reading this was like a slap in the face, how was I so in the dark about this disease? Then again I have a nephrostomy and 99% of people don't know what that is.

Lisa Genova did that with Inside the O'Briens, not only a brilliant novel but one that brings awareness to an illness that I would guess not many would know a whole
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Sharon
Feb 26, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley, arc, 2015-read
Inside the O'Briens had a great strong start, but I had trouble staying interested.

The first chapter showed us that Joe, the main character, was beginning to have symptoms of Huntington's Disease, though of course he doesn't realize it at the time. Then, the story jumps forward 7 years, only to keep taking us through several situations were he is having symptoms he doesn't understand or recognize. The author takes this time to introduce us to the family and get to know the characters, but it see
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Carol
Mar 21, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lisa Genova really knows how to set the scene of a story and draw you in......44 year old Boston Police Officer Joe O'Brien has been diagnosed with Huntington's Disease shocking him and his close-nit family who soon discover they may also carry the fatal inherited gene. With no treatment to slow the progression or hope of cure in sight, Joe's children struggle with the decision of being tested to uncover their fate.

Informative and heart-rending read depicting a devastating, debilitating and dead

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Christine
Mar 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Christine by: Personally Kim liking it at 70%
I wish to thank Net Galley, Simon and Schuster publishing, and Dr. Lisa Genova for an ARC of this novel in exchange for an unbiased review.

Inside the O’Briens is an outstanding novel, possibly my favorite of all 20 books I have read so far this year. It is written by Dr. Lisa Genova, author of Still Alice. Joe O’Brien is a 44 year-old Irish Catholic police officer living in Charlestown, MA, the oldest neighborhood in Boston. Joe is diagnosed with Huntington’s disease (HD), a rare, untreatable, n
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Mandy
Apr 12, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I very much enjoyed Genova’s earlier novel Still Alice about Alzheimer's and felt that she dealt sensitively and convincingly with the effects it has on all those involved when a diagnosis hits a family. Unfortunately she has not been so successful in her attempts to write the same book again, this time focussing on Huntington’s. I can’t help feeling she (or her publishers) decided it would be a good idea to cash in on her earlier success by choosing another devastating disease and finding a sto ...more
Colleen
Nov 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lisa Genova does it again. Highly recommended for all sorts of readers. How she can take such heart wrenching medical topics and tell such important stories is such a gift. Thanks to Gallery Books for a free copy, and I am so glad to report this is one author I am keeping up with. And so well worth it. More research to cure this so importantly needed.
Carmen Blankenship
First of all a huge thank you to Gallery, Threshold, Pocket Books and Netgalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

There are certain times that I get frustrated at being limited to giving a book 5 stars. This is one of those times. Before I review this specific book, I just want to touch on Lisa Genova's body of work. After I read Still Alice, by chance, I immediatley searched Amazon for her backlist. Much to my dismay and astonishment it was her debut. How can a book so flawless be h
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Angela M
Jan 12, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars .

I felt as if I knew Joe O'Brien. At first I thought it was because I lived just outside Boston when this story takes place so I really felt like I was there and that I knew this family. More likely it's because Lisa Genova does such an amazing job of letting you know this could be any family , anywhere .

This is about a family not so perfect but real in their flaws and yet perfect in their love and support for each other as they face Joe's diagnosis of Huntington's disease . By reading
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☮Karen
Imagine you've seemed jittery and moody lately, your speech is slurring occasionally, and man, those involuntary twitches in your face and leg are driving you and those around you batsh%! crazy. These are just some of the symptons of Huntington's Disease, a heritary affliction that lies dormant in you until you are approaching middle age and then gives you 10 years more after that. Ten torturous years, because you will be fully aware of your slide into hell. So by the time you find out you have ...more
Elyse Walters
Nov 22, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Huntington's disease is a lethal neurodegenerative disease with no treatment and no cure --commonly called a family disease.

The most important thing about Lisa Genova's new book, "Inside the O'Brians", is that she brings awareness to readers of Huntington's disease --and the many different ways it consumes a family.

As Lisa tells the story about The O'Brien family --the reader begins to understand this disease deeper --physically--psychologically--mentally--financially--spirituality--.

There are
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Carol Brill
Mar 26, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Get out the tissues. "INSIDE" The O'Brien's is the perfect title for this wonderful book because Lisa Genova so skillfully puts us inside each character's world to experience their fear, pain, joy, and hope. She has an amazing talent for creating characters that are familiar, palpable and real without being cliché. From the minute I met Joe O'Brien I felt like I knew him and his wife Rosie. I had heard of Huntington's Disease but had no idea of the course of the disease or that it's hereditary. ...more
Jenny (Reading Envy)
Aug 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read2017, npos
I only know of Lisa Genova through the film adaptation of Still Alice, and I would not have read another book by her unless it came to me through a book swap, which this one did. Still Alice gave my husband and I both the worst nightmares of our lives!

This author, who has a PhD in neuroscience, seems to prefer to write about diseases in novel form. This is no exception, and addresses Huntington's Disease. The book starts with Joe, a Boston cop who drops things for no reason and falls without tri
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Patrice Hoffman
Where do I start with Lisa Genova's Inside the O'Briens? I'm often faced with that decision when starting a review for a novel I believe brings so much to the table in terms of its insight, relatability, and the discussion it leaves in its wake. In an effort to not spoil anything I will be brief and only highlight the things that I still think about after reading this novel.

Joe O'Brien is an officer for the Boston Police Department, husband to Rosie, and father to four offspring when he finds ou
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Ace
Mar 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Every family has their battles and this particular family is dealing with Huntington's. I had to take a bit of a break about half way through but it drew me back as I kept thinking about what would happen and how they would cope. Anyone from the Boston area may love this even more than I did?
Elaine
Mar 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
After finishing Still Alice by Lisa Genova, my next read, quite by chance, was her latest book “Inside The O’Briens”, the story of Joe a 44 year old Boston Cop who has been diagnosed with Huntingdon’s Disease, and the effect that it has on him and his family. I was a little bit dubious at first, thinking “different disease, same story” but as the read went on I really, really enjoyed it and soon got caught up in the lives of this large Boston Irish family. Whereas Still Alice is told entirely fr ...more
Rebecca McNutt
Inside the O' Briens is one of the saddest books I've ever read. Not only does the main character have to live with the earth-shattering diagnosis of Huntington's disease, but he also realizes how it might end up affecting his family, especially his daughter, who finds herself unable to cope with the possibility that she might have the same illness. However, the family discovers that this tragic sentence might end up bringing them closer together. This book brings attention to a disease affectin ...more
Linda
Nov 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
What a wonderful book. We are introduced to an Irish Catholic family from Boston, the O'Briens. Joe and his wife Rosie have four young adult children, JJ, Meg, Patrick and Katie. Joe has served on the BPD for over 20 years when he begans having problems and is diagnosed with a rare movement disorder, Huntington's Diease. It's a progressive condition with no cure and there's a 50/50 chance of his children having the gene to develop HD. I loved the O'Brien family, well developed characters that I ...more
Dale Harcombe
Three and a half stars.
This is a story of how one family reacts when the father, Joe O’Brien, a Boston policeman, is diagnosed with Huntington’s disease. That is a bad enough blow to deal with, but there is a 50-50 chance that his four adult children have inherited the gene that will see them fall prey to Huntington’s. JJ is married while Meaghan, Patrick and Katie are all single. They have to decide whether to take the test to find out whether they each have the gene or not.
It is obvious there
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Shannon (leaninglights)
Actual rating 4.5 stars

Well, I finally read it. I'm so happy that this book was good! I have personal ties to Huntington's Disease so it set the bar quite high with this story. I felt, for the most part, the author did a great job accurately portraying HD and the families it affects. I loved the O'Brien clan and their life in Boston. The story felt real and the characters relatable. And while the ending made me frustrated in one breath, it also made perfect sense and I loved it. This book was ab
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G.H. Eckel
Jan 11, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lisa Genova takes us inside a family, the O'Briens, and forces us to look at what is literally inside them: Huntington's Disease, which is a fatal genetic condition, like ALS, that affects roughly 37,000 people. The novel takes us through a tortuous series of losses over the course of a year for Joe O'Brien. He loses his physique, his ability to speak, his job, his control of his body, the health of his children, his religion, his self respect--one crushing blow after another. Yet, he never lose ...more
Nancy
Jan 09, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I know. Three stars. Before I get into the meat of the book, let me explain because Lisa Genova is one of my very favorite authors. I've always enjoyed her eloquent, intelligent writing. The woman is brilliant and gifted in both the medical field and creative writing. So my real issue with the book was the language. I was distracted by the sheer number of F bombs. It cheapened the eloquent writing style I've come to expect. I buy into the idea that the use of profanity demonstrates a lack of voc ...more
Linda
Feb 02, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
If you have ever read a book by Lisa Genova, then you know you will be treading into a lush field of the informative, the emotional, and the totally involved. You will never quite be the same. This book was no exception.

The story surrounds the O'Brien family who now must open the door and step through to the other side of Huntington's Disease. The knock was one that no one wishes to answer. Joe, the main character, has been recently diagnosed with the disease. He is the father of adult children,
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Trey
Mar 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So heart-sick over this tale.
"Inside the O'Briens" is a humble, yet shining banner that raises awareness for Huntington's Disease. This is a powerhouse of a story; an intimate portrait about a family facing an epic issue. The strength of this story is Genova's expert ability to provide an instant familiarity with all the characters and what's inside their heads, especially 'Joe' - the old-school cop (and head of the family) who toughs everything out instead of going to doctors or counselors. 'K
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6,848 followers
Lisa Genova graduated valedictorian, summa cum laude from Bates College with a degree in Biopsychology and has a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Harvard University.

Acclaimed as the Oliver Sacks of fiction and the Michael Crichton of brain science, Lisa has captured a special place in contemporary fiction, writing stories that are equally inspired by neuroscience and the human spirit. She is author of t
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“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.” 23 likes
“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.” 23 likes
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