Handle with Care: A Novel

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NEW. Hardcover.

Customer Reviews:

  • Not my Favorite Picoult Book
    Many reviewers have compared this latest novel to Picoult's earlier novel, My Sister's Keeper. Though I can see the resemblances in the novels, My Sister's Keeper is a far superior piece of work, in my opinion.

    I have read all of Picoult's novels and have a few that I like more than others. This one is definately not one of my favorites. My opnion has less to do with writing style, as I do enjoy the way Jodi offers the story from the perspectives of several of her characters. I also don't have an issue as many others seemed to have with the fact that there are a lot of sub plots in this book. This, in my opinion, makes it that much more interesting.

    My problem with this book is probably more of a biased opinion. I had a very had time "connecting" with the primary character in the book, Charlotte (the mom). As the mother of two children with special needs (one of which has a terminal condition), I found it very hard to be sympathetic with her battle to sue her doctor, and more importantly, best friend for "wrongful birth". She is suing not, necessarily because she feels she would have aborted her chronically ill child but because she feels the money would offer a better life for this child and would aid in paying off medical bills. I should also mention that I live in New Hampshire and am extremely familiar with the type of medical assistance available to families with disabled children and I found a lot of inconsistancies in the book as far as that goes. In my personal opinion, I just cannot fathom alienating my husband and best friend just to make a buck (or several million). In an effort to save her family, Charlotte all but destroys it and I simply don't get that.
    I won't spoil the ending but suffice it to say it left me very dissapointed and feeling as though I just wasted my time reading this novel....more info
  • good writer, terribly unrealistic
    The only truly realistic parts of this book were the greed of the lawyers and the stupidity of juries. Jodi Picoult is a better writer than this book would have you believe....more info
  • Handle With Care
    This was a quick read, very well written, and the characters were easy to follow. However, it was a very sad, but interesting book - I guess the ending had to be, but it was a tear jerker. It took me a long time to figure out why the check was on the refrigerator and never cashed. I'm sure everyone has a different take on that....more info
  • Good, but not as good as others she's written ...
    To say that Jodi Picoult writes issues books is an oversimplification. Don't get me wrong - she does write issues book & can be somewhat formulaic; at the same time she manages to create characters you can believe in & puts them in situations that are also very real.

    What if your son & his girlfriend have a suicide pact, but only the girlfriend dies? What if your daughter's boyfriend (& son of your close friends) date rapes her? What if your child has a deadly disease & you have a second child to be her donor & your second child gets sick of doing that? What if your small son is sexually abused? There are common threads, for sure, in all of these books - they all tackle an issue, they're all set in suburban New England, the characters are all white & fairly safely lower to upper middle class.

    I think she's successful at this beyond the entertainment value & beyond the formulaic nature of the genre because she doesn't take the easy path with her characters. These are not books about heroic mothers curing the cancer of their 6-year-olds while coaching their son's soccer team to the world championship. These are books about flawed, real people in tough situations who don't always make good choices & that's why they work on so many levels.

    Having said all of that, I like this one least of all of her books. As most people have or will point out, this book is a lot like her book, My Sister's Keeper. Both deal with a mortally ill child, sibling conflict, & a lawsuit. In this case, Willow is born with osteogensis imperfecta, a genetic disorder that makes her bones exceedingly fragile & prone to breakage. Her mother decides to sue her obstetrician (& best friend) & the rest of the novel revolves around the consequences of this lawsuit for the whole family, including Amelia, Willow's older & often ignored sister.

    Charlotte, the mother, is not a picture of martyred perfection (thank God). While her choices may be questionable, her motive - more money to help pay for all of the things that her daughter will need in her lifetime of care - is not. Yes, the suit requires that she claim wrongful birth, but that isn't really her fault. Nor is it her fault that our current healthcare system makes long-term care of disabled people nigh on to impossible for most families who literally break under the financial strain. This book & this character very clearly illustrate the poor choices that are often available to people in this situation.

    I liked all of the rest of the characters, too, although they were at times less successful & more thinly written. I would have, in particular, liked for Piper (the obstetrician & best friend) to have been more fleshed out. I even liked the children who seemed like real (& sometimes bratty) kids rather than the paragons of childlike virtue or evil that many writers thrust upon us.

    I was much less fond of the technique of all of the characters addressing Willow throughout the book - as if you were Willow & they were telling you the story. It seemed just that - technique - & very forced in places which took me out of the world of the story. The ending, which I won't reveal here, was one of those twists that seemed tacked on just to create a twist. It was unnecessary & I really disliked it.

    Overall I like Ms. Picoult's books & I liked this one, but I've noticed that the quality of her novels is going down with each progressive book & that worries me. I hope she takes her time on the next novel - her work is too good for her to become slapdash....more info
  • A good book cheapened by the ending.
    I was all set to give this book 5 stars. And I would have done so were it not for the last chapter. That last chapter cheapened the story and made the effort of reading this very harrowing book worthless for me.
    I found Handle with Care a very compelling and affecting book, despite the many plots and very distracting and bizarely included recipes...Why?
    it was a very interesting experience to read a book where I didn't agree with anything the main protagonist did but still liked her in a way. The ending made me want to literally throw the book at a wall, and I would have had I not been listening to the end while driving my car. ( I was doing double duty with this book; reading the print version and also listening to the audio depending on where I was.)
    I have read other books by Jodi Picoult so really should have expected what she did at the end, especially after "My Sisters Keeper". In hindsight, it was quite predictable. After this heavy tale of unending misery I need a serious fluff infusion....more info
  • Always on my Must Read List
    Whenever Jodi Picoult puts out a new book, I am right there, first on line, ready to read. Picoult never disappoints. Though this book is reminiscent of My Sister's Keeper, it is also quite different. The moral questions Ms. Picoult asks in this book are deeper, more intricate than the questions in Keeper. OI, the birth defect written about in this book, is a condition no parent is equipped to handle. Picoult certainly makes us aware of that. Willow's problems affect all in her family. Her parents are shocked, devistated; her sister becomes the saddest victim of OI, even though she is perfectly healthy. Picoult has the ability to show us mere mortals, those of us who will never face the difficult issues involving the care of a handicapped child, how it's done - the good and the bad of it. There are no heroes or villains here - only humans making mistakes, forgiving one another. I liked this book a lot. And yes, I am waiting for her next wonderful story well told. ...more info
  • Ordinary ending (again).
    If you liked "My Sisters Keeper", then you may get a sense of deja vu reading this book. I know I did. Both books feature sick children and affect on their families. The difference is that My Sisters Keeper was fresh and surprising - this book, well, we have read it before so I was bored a little.

    A lot of thought, research and writing went into this book, yet once again, the ending is wrapped up unsatisfactorily.....I actually re-read the last chapter, thinking I must have missed something crucial! This seems to be a trademark ending of this author: bad endings because its like she doesn't know what to do with her characters.

    After reading about 5 books by this author now, this one was definitely my last!
    ...more info
  • A wonderful read!
    HANDLE WITH CARE was, like all of Jodi Picoult's books, excellent! Her research into the subject of her novels is interesting and thorough. I especially like how Jodi tells the story from the different characters' points of view. I cannot wait to read every new book written by Jodi.

    Valerie Smith...more info
  • Not this time
    I'm an avid Picoult fan, but this was a huge disappointment. I found the premise faulty and the protagonist a woman I couldn't find much to like about....more info
  • Really Good
    Picoult has written another novel that begs the reader to ask themselves what would they do in this situation. She does a great job capturing the emotional toll on each family member. The story kept me interested from the very beginning. The ending was a bit abrupt and not what I would have expected.

    Seemed a little odd having recipes in a fictional story.

    Worth reading....more info
  • thought provoking
    I enjoyed this book very much. While reading a fiction novel i learned alot about a disease I knew nothing about. Truly entertaining, I could not stop reading....more info
  • Disappointing to say the least
    This was the first Jodi Picoult book that I read and it very well may be my last. I got through the first half of the book feeling sorry for many of the characters as they found themselves in a challenging situation caring for their special needs child. Then the mother - Charlotte - decides to go against her own morales, her best friend, and her husband to do something that she feels will better the life of her child. She blindly and stubbornly moves forward with her plan threatening every relationship in her life and pushes her children to doubting her love for them. The whole time I was reading this I tried to determine if this is something I could understand even if I would not do it (not being a particularly litigious person). But I just kept coming back to other stones that had not been turned...appealing to the OI community to find out what other people had done to support their needs, working with community service groups, etc. This was such a radical move on her part that it was not believable. AND THEN as I was stuggling to keep an open mind, I read the ending and was completely aghast. To have written that book and weave all the characters through their suffering to get to the end result was like a slap in the face. I felt like I wasted two days reading a book that resulted in nothing.

    I really wanted to like the book, but in the end the only characters that I felt sorry for were the girls who were often ignored in this couples attempt to "love" them. And considering the amount of smothering Willow received her whole life, for her ending to come because no one was paying any attention to her (when everyone was at home) was unbelievable....more info
  • Excellent
    This book arrived quickly and in excellent condition. Purchased as a gift and the receiver was quite pleased....more info
  • Handle with Care
    The O'Keefe family is just like many others - two children, ice skating practice, sibling rivalry, a trip to Disney World. Their world is often thrown into disarray, however, because their younger daughter, Willow, was born with osteogenesis imperfecta, brittle bones disease. This diagnosis means that Willow is likely to suffer a broken bone from even the most minor of reasons. She might bump into a table, sit down too hard, even turn too suddenly, and end up needing a splint, a cast, an emergency surgery. Despite this, the family has been a healthy unit, although one whose finances are in shambles and with little knowledge of how Willow will receive the adaptive technology and care she will require as the symptoms of her illness progressively worsen with age. One day, the mother, Charlotte, is given an answer. A lawyer broaches the topic of a wrongful birth law suit - one that says her OB-GYN was negligent in not discovering Willow's condition earlier in Charlotte's pregnancy - early enough that Charlotte would have been able to make the decision to abort her fetus. In the resultant trial, Charlotte is willing to risk everything - her reputation as a mother and position within the community, her marriage, her relationship with her daughters, if it means promising Willow enough money to live as full a life as possible.

    Quote: "You can tell yourself that you would be willing to lose everything you have in order to get something you want. But it's a catch-22: all of those things you're willing ot lose are what make you recognizable. Lose them, and you've lost yourself."

    Jodi Picoult is usually able to write a book from several different perspectives and make each sympathetic in its own way, shades of gray situations. Despite her intentions here, however, this is not successfully achieved with Handle with Care. Despite the attempts to justify the mother's actions as ensuring financial stability for her daughter, it's too difficult to understand how Charlotte does not comprehend that financial stability means nothing without the emotional and mental stability that is shattered when your mother tells the world "I wish I could have aborted you. You are too imperfect for me to have wanted you in my family." There is also the complication that Charlotte's OB-GYN was also, seemingly, her only friend in the world, and that she must ruin this woman's life in order to bring the suit, which seems not to faze her at all, or that her family fractures more every day as a result of her decision.

    I liked the first of Jodi Picoult's books that I read. I was intrigued by stories written from several different perspectives, surprised by the shocking twist at the end. Unfortunately, the more of her books I read the more I grow tired of those things. The stories are still generally strong, but it's exhausting to continually get to the last three pages of the book containing an giant surprise, especially when it is unnecessary. If the story is strong enough to stand on its own there is no need to throw a curve ball just before saying "the end," just because you can. There's no need to continue this trend book after book. It makes the reader feel cheated, and it's a cop out. Living with the consequences of your choices is more complicated than that....more info
  • The best one yet
    My fiance watched for two nights as I went between laughing out loud, to biting my lips, to crying like a baby ("How do you get that into your books?" None of the books he reads have authors who could compare to Mrs.Piccoult, that's how!). The book was such an emotional rollercoaster that at times I HAD to put it down just to take a breather. Yet it was so good, I finished it in two nights because I just could not put it down otherwise. I have almost all her books, and this was the best one. There was one part of the book where the older sister was describing how it felt when she cut herself. As someone who has battled Borderline Personality and has been so fearful and ashamed of someone finding out my secret, she managed to put into words what I have only kept in my head and heart for years. Someone commented that the behavior is not typical of a 12 year old. Maybe a young teen, but even that is stretching? Lucky you were a young age twelve! With no hardships, huh? You would know that a twelve year old with such issues in the household may have behaviors and feelings above her actual age.
    I read another review where someone said the second person was sloppy due to the older sister saying "my mother" instead of "our" mother among other things. But these are the feelings of a teen girl, who is feeling possesive of a mother who, she feels, has invested all her time and emotion to a younger sister. I feel it is highly appropriate.
    Someone else didn't get the recipes in the book. I get it. To me, I feel it as a book of recipes the mother wrote after Willow died and probably dedicated it to her.
    As far as calling Willows death a cop out, um hello? The point is, she could not protect her daughter from accidents that DO happen that have nothing to do with her special disease.
    As far as predictable? yes, it is obvious by the fact that these people are writing to Willow that she either dies or is possibly on her death bed. But the manner of death, and lesson from it, were a surprise to me!

    A My Sister's Keeper clone? Not at all. The only similarity I see is a court case with a controversial lawsuit and a death of a sibling. I wonder how these people even enjoy books when they can't even get the point!

    Great book. I will read it again and again (as soon as I get it back from my mother, who I made stop all her other books until she read this one).I hope they make a movie from this one, but it would probably not do it justice. That is just the tip of the iceburg. So many mini plots can be derived from all the different storytellers in this book. I loved it!
    ...more info
  • Almost My Sister's Keeper
    //Handle With Care// is suspiciously similar to Ms. Picoult's earlier blockbuster, //My Sister's Keeper//. Both involve young children with devastating illnesses, families teetering on the brink of breakdown, sisters torn between loyalty and a desire to be free of the incessant demands of illness, and emotional courtroom drama scenes. It would be easy to say that Ms. Picoult is simply coasting on her earlier successes - easy, that is, if //Handle With Care// weren't such a well-written, thought-provoking book.

    The story is told by a series of voices - Charlotte, Sean, Amelia, Piper, and Marin - who relate their thoughts and memories to Willow O'Keefe, a brilliant six-year old girl who is funny, caring, and cursed with osteogenesis imperfecta, a disorder that makes her bones fragile enough to shatter at the slightest fall, bump, or twist. Willow and her family live under the constant shadow of the disease. When Willow's mother, Charlotte, decides to bring a wrongful birth lawsuit against her obstetrician - her best friend, Piper - she learns that bones aren't the only things that can be broken.

    Despite a contrived and completely needless ending, //Handle With Care// is a book for mothers, especially mothers of children with disabilities, who will appreciate it for its honesty.

    Reviewed by Michelle Kerns...more info
  • Handle With Care
    Jodi Picoult has been one of my favorite authors for quite a while but her last two or three books seem to have been written for too popular an audience. She has gotten less in depth in her analysis of issues and her endings seem written to be made into movies. She still is a pleasure to read but just not as enjoyable as when she was a little more obscure. Still better than most....more info
  • Probably a Picoult best
    An amazing and well written story of the grief and hardships one normal rural family goes through when their child is born with a rare bone disease. The anguish this family feels when the mother decides to sue for "wrongful birth" in order to ensure lifetime care for her ailing daughter is masterfully developed and virtually leaps from the pages. However, what was much more poignant for me was the grief and sense of abandonment the sibling feels during the tumultuous times and how the sheer sense of loss and anger leads to bulimia and cutting. One of Picoult's best in my opinion....more info
  • A misunderstood mother
    Handle Wtih Care is a great read. As the reader you will fall in love with Willow, feel great sadness for her sister, and thank all of your lucky stars that YOUR children are healthy. I enjoyed the book very much, except the end. It was abrupt, and felt rushed. But, I could easily put myself in the place of this beleagured mother, and the burden of trying to take care of a child who is so fragile that a wrong move could break any bone in her body, because I have a child with a rare genetic syndrome. I have a husband, and an older child too. I lived many of the same kinds of days that this mother experienced.

    This story presents a mother who is willing to face losing her husband, and does lose her best friend so that she will be able to take care of Willow. She feels tremendous guilt over her decision to file the lawsuit. She is so ensnared with the care of Willow that she (and her husband) completely miss the fact that their older daughter is displaying depression, and suicidal tendencies. However, do not be caught up in the web of thinking that Charlotte can be sure that if she had known before Willow's birth that she would have OI, she would have aborted her. From personal experience, I can say that no mother could possibly know that with certainty. Charlotte is a flawed character, as is her husband, her doctor-friend, her lawyer, as indeed humans are, but she is also a victim of her deep love, sense of responsibility, and guilt that as the reader you must try to walk in her shoes. Handle with Care is thought-provoking, and well written. This book is my second favorite, coming quite close to my favorite: Nineteen Minutes....more info
  • 4.8 stars
    In one word: challenging. (Heart-breaking as a close hyphenated second.) And given that Picoult is the author, by "challenging" I do not mean to read; but, to think about. The questions you are forced to wrestle with are, classically Picoult, not easy ones.

    This isn't my favorite book by her, though that should not take away from its greatness whatsoever. I felt like this was one of her more relationship-oriented novels, whereas most seem to be at least 1/3 of the book in court. Possibly just my perception, though. Definitely would recommend, because it makes you think and you'll at least learn (many) new things. ...more info
  • Excellent STORY...
    I enjoy reading Jodi Picoult's books. I'm a big fan of hers and look forward to her future novels!

    The recipes in this story were a great addition, especially the last one. I also appreciated where Jodi wrote about Amazon.com and people leaving negative reviews and hurting the author's feelings. Nice touch!

    I loved Marin's character. Jodi kept me interested in finding out why Marin's mother gave her up. The end result was not what I expected (just like Marin). I think Marin's character will return at some point in a future JP book.

    I agree with other reviewers in the sense that the O'Keefe's should have kept the money and donated some to the OI Foundation in memory of Willow. I did not like the fact that Piper and Sean shared a kiss. I saw it coming though...

    Kudos to Jodi for another page turner!

    I'm looking forward to her next novel, House Rules.
    ...more info
  • This is the last book
    I have read all of Jodi Picoult's novels. I have always found them enjoyable although the 'twist' endings have sometimes been disturbing. This time I felt I was being manipulated throughout the entire novel: made to feel sorry for this one, made to feel anger at that one, made to feel enormous compassion for another. Then came the terrible, terrible ending. It was the epitome of manipulation and I will no longer read nor recommend any novels after "Handle With Care."...more info
  • Wonderful and thought-provoking
    Wow - since I read my first Jodi Picoult about three years ago I knew to expect a thought-provoking book. One thing I love about Ms. Picoult's novels is the fact that she brings interesting and controversial topics to light but doesn't tell you how to feel one way or the other about it, which is unusual in today's world. We all have our opinions and believe they are right. No doubt Ms. Picoult has her opinions too, but she chooses to bring all sides of a topic to light. Handle with Care is another great example of this. Making the wrongful birth lawsuit front and center and how it really makes different people feel. From the one who is being told that she shouldn't have been born (but that is a lie mommy is telling), to the sibling who is unintentionallly left behind in the dust of the lawsuit, to the marriage that takes second place at this point and to others it affects such as the doctor and best friend and the whole community of disabled people who essentially are told that their lives are not perfect and therefore not worth living. I think I have had the same thoughts as each of the characters and it really pointed out some things to me that I feel that are wrong in my own beliefs. It's definitely opened my eyes to several different things.

    While the issue is a part of this book, but definitely not the whole. I felt like I truly got to know all the characters. I listened to this on audio and it was wonderful. They used different people for the different characters in the book who were writing to Willow at the time. The distinguing voices were a big help with listening. It was a true joy to listen to. The story never lagged for me, in fact I would find myself listening in the car a few extra minutes, carrying my mp3 player with me to listen when I could. The story moves forward at a good pace, the characters seem real and the story is just riveting.

    This book is wonderful and heartbreaking and so much more. It is well worth the time it takes to read it (it's a large book) and I highly recommend it!...more info
  • Ending proves that you can only do so much to protect the ones you love
    This is my first time reading a Jodi Picoult book. This was a page turner for me and a personal journey for me. I was pregnant with twins, one died at birth from Trisomy 18. I go through life imagining what if, and wishing he lived. I was surprised they won the lawsuit and glad they never cashed the check. The ending shocked me and I had to sit for a few minutes to take it in. Then I figured that parents do what they can to help the future of their children. In the end, children make their own decisions. We can only hold their hand so much. Willow made the decision to go where she wasn't supposed to. That check and the means Charlotte went to get it didn't matter....more info
  • Mixed Emotions
    I have read all of Jodi Picoult's books, and all of them evoke the same reaction from me. I love some of her characters, and I truly dislike some of her characters. I don't always agree with what the characters are doing or the decisions they make, but isn't that real life? She has the ability to create so many emotions in you as you read her stories. I love that she always has surprise endings that leave you feeling like you've been through a dramatic evolution of feelings. I highly recommend this book, I read it in 3 days, and cried my eyes out through the whole thing!!...more info
  • great set-up, good characters, but unsatisfying and formulaic telling
    Handle With Care, Jodi Picoult's latest novel, is the story of the O'Keefe family: Sean, a police officer; Charlotte, a former pastry chef turned full-time mother and caretaker; Amelia, a 13-year-old yearning for independence and control over her life; and Willow, a 5-year-old struggling with OI, brittle bone disease. Day-to-day life is stressful enough for this struggling family, but a trip to Disney World turns disastrous. Willow falls and breaks a bone, and they're rushed to the hospital, seemingly at the relief of park employees. Willow's x-rays raise red flags of abuse, and Amelia spends the night in a foster home, while the parents are separated and interrogated. It's gut-wrenching, and the reader understands the caution from the police and hospital while knowing these parents are loving. From there, the story spirals out of control.

    Sean wants to sue for what they went through in Florida, but the lawyer says that's not a case. A wrongful birth suit is an option, however. Did I mention Charlotte's obgyn is not only her best friend but the one who introduced her to Sean? Perhaps it's because I don't have children, but I found Charlotte to a completely unsympathetic character. I was upset that Picoult's thanks and acknowledgments at the beginning of the book included a spoiler. She mentions she changed the process of how jury's are selected in New Hampshire. I imagine there would have been much more suspense about if a trial would actually happen in the first half of the book if I didn't read in the thank yous that one did. Keep in mind, I try to avoid book flap summaries for spoilers too; I like to go into books (and movies) knowing little to nothing about the plot. I rely on the opinions of reviewers and friends much more than on plot synopses.

    Part of me loved the book; I read it's almost 500 pages in less than 24 hours. I even found myself most engrossed with Marin, Charlotte's lawyer, searching for her own birth mother. I found her storyline most compelling. Wrongful birth is a fascinating issue, but it's an issue tied to the broken health insurance system in this country. Socialized medicine would alleviate all of the problems Charlotte faced, and as an advocate for equal access to health care regardless of disease, condition or income, I found myself bogged down in not only the politics of choice but of the inherent flaws in a health insurance system seeking to make money rather than help and protect people.

    Politics aside, the book seemed rather formulaic. I realize I just finished My Sister's Keeper last week, but it felt like a retelling of that story with some of the medical details and legal details changed. The surprise ending wasn't much of a surprise, and I found it to be a cop-out. Again, it all comes back to Charlotte being a character I couldn't quite rally myself behind. I think the set-up and the idea of this story was fantastic, and I certainly learned a lot. I even enjoyed reading it enough to read it quite quickly, but I can't say I loved it. It is a book I would recommend most strongly for book clubs. The themes and ideas raised in this book are ripe for discussion, but it's not a book I loved....more info
  • Disappointing book from a great writer
    The author once again examines the effects of childhood disease on a family through the various voices of those involved. What bothered me was the ridiculous opening premises that parents of a child with textbook physical features and previous injuries would be arrested for suspicion of child abuse, all because they did not have a letter from the child's M.D. explaining the illness. Is it conceivable that a hospital would not contact the 3 other hospitals that had treated her on multiple occasions? This bothered me yet 75 % of the book was thought provoking and well written, however the end was as disappointing as the beginning. Better choice from this writer would be My Sister's Keeper. ...more info
  • not Ms. Picoult's best work
    I have enjoyed many of Jodi Picoult's books, especially The Pact and Perfect Match. She is great at taking an unflinching look at issues that can be hard to face. Handle With Care was a disappointment. Other reviewers have pointed out its' similarities to My Sister's Keeper, and I agree with them. One difference, though, is that the mother, Charlotte, is an even more unsympathetic character than the mother in My Sister's Keeper. Charlotte seems to me to be wearing blinders, and is willing to sacrifice her daughters' (both of them, not just Willow) trust in order to secure a settlement. No matter how worldly and an old-soul type Willow is, as a five-year-old, she would automatically leap to the conclusion that she wasn't wanted. Incidentally, I am pretty sure that there would be plenty of public assistance available to Willow, between Medicaid and Social Security. I can't remember if they mentioned that in the book. But I digress; my point is, I am a mom, and I would never let my children think that money is more important than love. That seemed to me the overriding message in Handle With Care. Oh, and money is more important than friendship too, apparently. I hope Ms. Picoult's next novel is better....more info
  • Look for the audio version
    I listened to the audio version of this book and I really liked it, for the narrators (there are 5 or more) did a really great job. They brought out the personality of each character, you'd feel like you knew each character well. So i'd give the audio performers 5 stars.

    The style of this book is too gimmicky, by addressing the girl through second pronoun. It does not bring out the intimacy but instead seems forced. And the recipes Picoult sprinkles throughout the book are distracting at best and don't add to the story at all.

    Plot-wise, it seems Picoult pulls out a template everytime she writes a book. You read one, you read them all. This book is a combination of many of her books, especially My Sister's Keeper and The Pact. She is obsessed with situations where people who are close sue each other. And the court room scenes always give you a deja-vu feeling, such as when the plaintiff and the defendant always found themselves in the bathroom, confronting each other after a lengthy and exhausting fight. I could guess what came next down to the twist ending. So 2 stars for the story.

    I hope Picoult would write something different, something without a courtroom drama. I like her writing but she needs to get out of her comfort zone. For example, Stephen King's Just After Sunset, he has more variety in one book than Picoult has in all of hers.
    ...more info
  • Another great novel from Picoult
    I'm a huge fan of Picoult's books and this one didn't disappoint. I was actually prepared to not like this book, to be honest. Having grown up with a younger sister who was severely disabled, I was offended by the idea of the wrongful birth lawsuit. However, while I never could fathom going through with such a lawsuit, I was able to see the mother's point-of-view. As always, Picoult adds interesting twists throughout the story and there's never a dull moment. Besides the multiple relationships and struggles (internal and external) within Willow's family, I also had a personal interest in the plot concerning the attorney's search for her birth mother and feelings regarding her adoption. Jodi Picoult's perfect recipe continues to impress: she has once again taken a sensitive subject, presented the unpopular view, added a few unexpected twists, and created a novel that leaves one wondering if all things in life are really as black and white as we like to pretend....more info
  • Compelling plot
    What responsibility does a health care provider have when a child is born with a severe disability?

    That is the question Jodi Picoult asks in her latest book. Sean and Charlotte O'Keefe have it all: jobs they love, cute daughter, happy home, and the pregnancy they've waited for months for. But their perfect lives come to an abrupt end when the fetus Charlotte is pregnant with is diagnosed with OI ("brittle bone" disease).

    Raising Willow turns out to be very challenging, what with the medical emergencies, high doctor bills, and the unknown prognosis for her future. When Charlotte and Sean are given the option of a lawsuit for wrongful death, they think this may be the way to give Willow financial stability for the future. But this stability comes at a big cost: one that will have major repercutions for their entire family as well as their close friends.

    Handle With Care is pretty much typical Picoult fare. Compelling plot that isn't always believable, characters which of course include a lawyer with problems of her own, big court scenes, and the twist at the end. Despite the predictability of the basic story line, I really enjoyed this book. There's something about her books that just pull you in (or pull me in, anyway), and her endings are always such a surprise. This book was no exception...more info
  • Excellent!!!
    I love Jodi Picoult's books, but they were starting to get too predictable. I was ecstatic to see that with this book, she finally broke the mold. "Handle With Care" is now on my 'favorite books' list, along with "My Sister's Keeper" and "Nineteen Minutes". Only an amazing book can make me feel such a wide range of emotions, and this book WAS amazing!!...more info
  • Doesn't make sense
    My main problem with this book was with the wrongful birth topic. Charlotte DID find out her daughter had OI while pregnant. She COULD have had an abortion then. The story would have made more sense if there was not another ultra sound after the one at 18 weeks and they wouldn't have known until birth that the baby had OI. Marin's argument and the jury's decision seemed as if Piper caused the baby's disability. It seems unlikely to me that any jury would award damages to this couple in this situation. The whole premise seems unrealistic....more info
  • Great writer...until the end!
    I love Jodi Picoult's writing because her books pull at so many different emotions at so many different levels. Her books are great reads but at the same time the situations she creates are hard to read also because it's so personal within the families....more info
  • How Much Free Time Do You Have?
    The first line grabbed me. Even with the last words, the writer never lets me go. As the story ended I wanted more! I am amazed at what I learned. This gripping novel made me change the way I look at people who are "different". I laughed, cried--I don't cry about fiction--and rejoiced with this families involved....more info
  • predictable and repetitive
    Jodi Picoult has once again written a book in response to which there are no easy answers. It's a great story, well-told, and both heart-wrenching and thought-provoking in a way that only Picoult can pull off. Unfortunately, it's also more than a little predictable and way too similar to her earlier book, My Sister's Keeper....more info
  • 2 and 1/2 Stars
    I would give Picoult four stars for her writing style and her ability to draw the reader into the story. Having said that, I was just plain mad at the way this book unfolded.

    There were many similarities to My Sister's Keeper which is probably my favorite Picoult book. I learned a lot about osteogenesis imperfecta which was interesting but often repetitive.

    I think Picoult has gone the way of Anita Shreve... great writer but dark and unhappy. I need a book a bit more uplifting than her more recent books.
    ...more info
  • Spoiler Alert, stop now unless you've already read the book
    I have to say that Jodi Picoult books are never my favorite, but some are worth a read. This is not one of them. The author writes each chapter as a letter from each person to Willow, the six year old disabled child. I found it annoying and unlikely that any adult would do this, especially four adults and one teenager. The content was too advanced and inappropiate for a six year old. Marin's whole story was a distraction and I skipped most parts of it. Why in the world would she, as Charlotte's lawyer, even be writing to Willow? I did'nt care for Charlotte as a person, and could'nt find alot of common ground with her. I found Willow to be very "made-up". A six year old does'nt act like she did. The author portrayed her as too adult minded. Her emotional depth was advanced and unrealistic. Much of the story was unrealistic. I grew up in a situation of having a disabled sister that was born with Spina Bifida and much of my childhood was spent in hospitals, so I know firsthand how that is. We were only a year apart in age and she never walked but was wheelchair bound her whole life. I found Amelia's point of view the most unrealistic of all. I assumed as I continued reading that the letters were written for when Willow grew up, but that was not the case. I was saddened to realize that she would never read them and the entire trial was for nothing. Charlotte tore her entire family apart as well as her best friend and all for what? It was senseless and so was this book. ...more info
  • This was one of the most depressing books I ever read
    I have read many Jodi Picolt books and this one I did not like. I wanted to call social services and report these people. The ending was too much for me....more info
  • A Learning Experience
    You will learn more about "brittle-bone syndrome" by reading this book than you ever wanted to know. Jodi does a terrific job of teaching us about today's problems. She must have an extensive staff doing research and editing for her. Very interest book! ...more info
  • Not her best work, but...
    I was very disappointed by the bleakness of this book, like many other reviewers, but to those who say that this was their first and last Jodi Picoult book I just want to say that not all of her books are like this! Perfect Match, Second Glance, Keeping Faith- those were terrific. They had their sad moments but were ultimately hopeful and compelling. If you picked up "Handle With Care" because you thought it was the kind of book you'd like- and then it wasn't- you will probably like those other books much more....more info
  • a bit tedious
    At first it was interesting because I was learning. Then I got bored because too much time was spent on the daily grind than developing the plot. Could have moved at a faster pace for me....more info
  • So disappointed!
    I started out liking this book. I could not put it down. I was really anxious to see what would happen. I won't give anything away but if it had not been my Kindle, I would have thrown the book! I was so disappointed in how this book was ended. All I could think was SERIOUSLY????...more info
  • Please do not read this book
    I deeply regret ever reading this book and wish I could get back every minute of my life I spent reading it. I left my house in the middle of the night, in freezing weather to throw this book into our trash. The thought of seeing it on my night stand the next morning made me nauseated. Plus the idea of anyone I love wasting time and energy reading this book made me shudder. I am a physician and a mother of two young girls. There is so much pain and sadness in the world, why be part of that? The only thing this book made me think was, "Why does this author want her readers to feel so horrible?" I am losing precious sleep to write this in the hope that I will save someone else from making the mistake I did. ...more info
  • Captivating Read
    As one who tends to shy away from books with the heavier theme, as I read more for escape and pleasure, I found myself completely hooked. This book is captivating. The writing is detailed and it is easy to visualize the situations the characters face. As a parent, it made me think for a moment how out lives would be so different if we had a family member with a disability and/or serious illness. And though I didn't like the ending at all, it could not have ended another way.

    There are elements of the writing style though that didn't work, such as the adults all writing to Willow, when clearly some subject matter was not appropriate for a six year old. The characters in the story are compelling, really held my attention. Some of the sub-plots are predictable while others caught me way off guard. I did not see the ending coming at all and it is intense. I kept wanting to check the ending while reading the book, which is not something I typically do unless I don't care about the story and just jump to the end. That was not the case at all, I just couldn't get through it fast enough. Overall, a strong quick read. Good book if you know others who have read it, b/c you will want to talk about it.
    ...more info
    This book was amazing from beginning to end! I couldn't put this down and was disappointed when it was over. You are pulled into this story by living each character's point of view. You will not want to miss this book. I was so hoping for a happy ending for this poor family; unforunately, what we want in a book rarely happens. ...more info
  • This story is filled with facts but isnt believable.
    Not her best book. This is a sad story with a sad ending. I'm disappointed. ...more info
  • disappointed
    Being a big JP fan, I was dissapointed by the ending of the story. Especially when through the first half of the book I took a look at the cover and figured out the ending. JP's information on OI was very interesting butttt the ending was a let down. I will be looking for a new author and books to read. I have reached Jodi Picoult overload....more info
  • Predictable to the point of boring
    If it weren't for the far-fetched yet predictable plot twists and the even more far-fetched coincidences, I would have liked the book better. I think the topic, the moral controversy of a wrongful birth suit for a child with an extremely painful, traumatic type of disability, is a great subject for a book. I really liked most of the author's other books, but the last few I have liked less and less. There seems to be one formula that all the books follow so that if you read the first few chapters of each one, you could pretty much write the rest yourself from the formula....more info
  • Handle With Care
    The book was well written and a good read. Jodi Picoult is one of my favorite authors, and I have read all her books. She always manages to pick a controversial subject and manages to make you think "How would I react in this situation?" I highly recommend this book. Note: Once you start reading this book, it is hard to put down....more info
  • Another amazing novel
    When they met, Sean O'Keefe, a cop, and Charlotte, a pastry chef, hit it off immediately. She was raising Amelia, 5, alone. Seven years later they had a daughter they named Willow. Willow was born with osteogenesis imperfect. The condition had been unnoticed by the OB-GYN doctor, Piper, who was Charlotte's best friend.
    Piper Reece was married to Rob, an orthodontist. They had a daughter named Emma who was Amelia's best friend.
    When Willow was five, Charlotte decided to sue Piper to get money for Willow's care. The lawyer she hired, Marin Gates, was looking for her birth mother and had conflicting feelings about the case.
    Charlotte almost lost her marriage; Amelia became bulimic and started cutting herself. They won the case, but Willow, in attempting to fulfill a dream, changed the course of their lives forever....more info
  • Couldn't Put This Down--Jodi Classic (100 stars!)
    I didn't know anything about Osteogenesis imperfecta until I read this book. First off, for anyone who has Osteogenesis imperfecta (O.I.) and their families and friends, my prayers and thoughts are with you. As for the book, I loved it!! This is a hard-to-put-down book. I went back and forth with how I felt about the people in this book. So many twists and turns and story lines everywhere. It's just awesome!!!! It left me wanting more, and then, if that's not enough, the last 50 or so pages were even better!! I finished it 3 days sooner than I expected I would. Nineteen Minutes is the standard I judge Jodi's books by because I really liked it a lot! That was one awesome book and this matches it. I cried at the end, hated the ending!!! I've read so many good books this year so far--this is one of them for sure. Read this book, you will never forget it!...more info
  • Wow
    I love Jodi Picoult. I have all her books. Love the way she takes fiction and makes so real to life....more info
  • My Sister's Keeper Copy Cat
    This book was a good read, until the end. At least in My Sister's Keeper the ending kind of made sense. I can see the whole 'be careful what you wish for message,' but honestly it was COMPLETELY unnecessary. The book also ends extremely abruptly, I wish there were just a couple more chapters to tie up the loose ends. I also couldn't help but hating the mother character throughout the entire book, and she NEVER seemed to change or learn from her mistakes. This is another reason a couple more chapters would have been nice, or I may just rip the last chapter out of my copy so it ends in a half decent way. ...more info
  • Not Jodi's best work
    The characters were unsympathetic (at best)....not to mention self involved. I found myself rushing to the ending...not because I couldn't wait to find out what would happen (had a feeling about how that would turn out half way through), but because I just wanted to be done with the story. ...more info