Monday, February 23, 2015

Inside the O'Briens by Lisa Genova

Inside the O'Briens is my third Lisa Genova novel, and as I expected... it was fantastic!!  I mean this woman can do no wrong.  I truly am in awe of her writing and the way she portrays these rare & incurable conditions or diseases that individuals are left to face every day.  It helps that she's a Neuroscience graduate of Harvard - I mean whoa.

I fell in love with her first novel Still Alice back when I read it in 2009, then again her third novel, Love Anthony when I read it in 2013. And now again, her fourth novel, Inside the O'Briens which releases in stores April 7, 2015.  Why I haven't picked up her third book, Left Neglected is beyond me - I have to do that ASAP.

With each heart-wrenching story she gives such a personal and in-depth understanding of what an individual and a family goes through when diagnosed with a difficult condition or disease.  With Still Alice it was Alzheimer's, with Love Anthony it was Autism and with Inside the O'Briens it's Huntington's.

My absolutely only issue with this book - is how it ended.  I do hope to God that she's writing a sequel to it, because I just can't be at peace with the conclusion.  I need a bow Lisa - it doesn't even have to be a pretty one, it can be ugly, it can even be downright disgusting - but I NEED A BOW!  ha!!  I sat there venting to my husband at the end of the book - "Oh no she didn't! I don't accept this - this can't be the end."  And then I proceeded to start searching all over the Internet for clues of a sequel (*cue tears*).

This is a great story folks - the kind that makes you think, makes you cry and makes you look at this reality for some from all different sides. I Loved it.  A massive thank you to NetGalley and Gallery Books for allowing me the privilege of reading an advanced copy.  Pre-order your copy here!  (*All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review.)

Description: From award-winning, New York Times bestselling author and neuroscientist Lisa Genova comes a powerful new novel that does for Huntington’s Disease what her debut Still Alice did for Alzheimer’s.

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.

Praised for writing that “explores the resilience of the human spirit” (The San Francisco Chronicle), Lisa Genova has once again delivered a novel as powerful and unforgettable as the human insights at its core.

Rating: *****

Recommend:  I recommend all of her books, they are just incredible and is in the top 5 of my favorite authors. 

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