Jodi Picoult Books Reading Group. discussion

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Questions/Observations > Is it just me, or does anyone else completly despise Charlotte from Handle with Care?

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message 1: by Lauren (new)

Lauren She really annoys me and I just think that what she took to court about Willow was completly unreasonable. How could any mother get up there on the stand and say that she didn't want her child? I really don't understand her at all. Am I the only one who is annoyed by her?


message 2: by Lauren (new)

Lauren Like the research idea.

You're right about the wishing hard for something and it will happen. I read a book on it. It's called "The Secret" -- and it's by Rhonda Byree.

It's about the Law of Attraction and how you can bring anything into your life at anytime you choose. I suggest you check it out :)


message 3: by Lauren (new)

Lauren I think it's a movie too.

I understand what your saying about "reinforced belief."

I remember, when I was younger it was an extremly hot day. There wasn't supposed to be rain for a few weeks. I was so hot and it was crazy, I just couldn't take it. So I went inside and sat on the washing machine in my swim suit. I prayed to God that it would rain. It was a nice prayer. I ran to the kitchen and ate a couple of pretzles. I walked out onto our deck, and it started to pour. I was so happy, and amazed.

It's kind of a dumb little story. Haha. But, who knows, maybe it was just a conicidence. But it reinforced my faith in God.


message 4: by Lauren (new)

Lauren I agree.

I feel bad when someone wants something so badly and it's just not physcially possible. It's really upsetting to see.

Ex: Boy wants his mother back after she died of cancer.


message 5: by Lauren (new)

Lauren I like the thought of that.


message 6: by Alexis (new)

Alexis | 41 comments Charlotte makes me so angry as someone with a disability, I wanted to jump through the book and tell at her. Emma from House Rules is much more realistic with regards to parenting a child with a disability although she is protective of Jacob, there are clear reasons why. Her protection is also not as overpowering as Charlotte. Yes, there is that time when Jacob sneaks off to the crime scene, but I consider this normal teen rebellion. I'm not saying going to crime scenes is normal, but sneaking off without telling your mom where you're going. All teens engage in rebellious behavior at one time or another. This was one way Picoult showed Jacob as a normal teen and Emma as an average mother.


message 7: by Ash (last edited Mar 15, 2013 02:05PM) (new)

Ash | 3 comments It's not just you. Handle With Care was the 1st Jodi Picoult book I read and almost the last. I couldn't stand the character Charlotte. She seemed like a very ignorant person who was out of touch with her children and her husband, so wrapped up in her own head that she couldn't relate to anyone else. She was also entrenched in leftist behavior. The worst was at the end when, after always priding herself as being So protective (in her own looney mind), she doesn't think twice before allowing, actually telling, her daughter to do something that she knows very well, has before lead her to be tempted to get into serious trouble. I had a hard time finishing the book & frequently felt like yelling at this asinine woman-character.


message 8: by Anna (new)

Anna | 81 comments With Charlotte I think she felt that was the only part of her life she could possibly control--even if it was in a negative way. She had already lost touch with her husband; her older daughter; and I really think she had unresolved jealousy of her best friend and her best friend's life. In my mind "the what happens next" was going to be tragic as I think her older daughter would probably become totally estranged and her husband would either stay out of guilt or leave.


message 9: by Frances (new)

Frances Pergamo (goodreadscomfrancespergamo) | 2 comments I read Handle With Care when it first came out, and I hated Charlotte, too. It wasn't the first Jodi Picoult book I read, and sometimes her mother figures are hard-headed and unlikable...even while the reader is sympathetic to the challenges they face (like having a disabled or sickly child). I think with Charlotte it became about her misguided choices. She thought money was going to make things better, and nothing (or nobody) was going to change her mind. She put her faith in the wrong place.


message 10: by Dara (new)

Dara | 145 comments Though JP's mother's aren't very likeable sometimes I think that is part of the message. Charlotte would do things that even she knew, deep down, were not particularly right, to provide for her child and in the end it still wasn't enough. I think that is a similar message in My Sister's Keeper...you do everything in your power to take care of your kids, and typically it is the one that needs it most, but you just never know do you. If you ever get a chance to see JP at one of her book signings I strongly encourage you to do so. She talks quite a bit about what motivates her to broach the topics she does.

One example she gave when I went to the signing for Handle With Care, in her research she learned how expensive it is to purchase a wheelchair. She learned that insurance companies will only pay for a new chair every 5 years. When you think about the difference in a child at age 2 (size wise) and one that is 7...it isn't really enough. Or even from age 7-12. Kids grow alot in those years.

But think of Charlotte this way...this poor mother was willing to stand up and say to the world and even Willow and say that if she had known about Willow's disability earlier then she would have aborted her. Not only did she have to say that and stand by it, she had to blame her best friend for not providing her with all the information she should have. While I do think she got caught up in it, I think her heart was in the right place.


message 11: by [deleted user] (last edited Nov 20, 2013 08:13PM) (new)

She was a really well developed character, I thought, and I couldn't help but like her a little.

She made choices that required huge amounts of bravery, stupidity, love and recklessness all rolled into one. I don't know... I just think that Charlotte was just a mother who cared so much about her child that she lost sight of all else- her troubled older daughter, her wavering husband, how Willow had to hear her mother tell a courtroom that, given the choice, she would've aborted her.

No, I'd not have made the choices she did, but it's something to know that she fought so hard for something that would benefit Willow in the long run but possibly hurt her too.

I don't hate her, I know that much.


message 12: by Donna (new)

Donna | 27 comments It is a different read for sure


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