Sunday, May 3, 2015

"Inside the O'Briens" - Lisa Genova

Hello fellow bibliophiles! My weekend reading marathon is still in full swing with another ARC completed! Thanks to NetGalley, I was able to read Inside the O'Briens by Lisa Genova, author of the recent book to movie feature, Still Alice. I have not read Still Alice but I did see the movie and was quite moved by it. I know, don't curse me. I know I should have probably read the book first. The story itself was very powerful. It describes the struggle of an amazing intellect who is plagued with early on-set Alzheimer's and her family's decisions to best handle the disease. Great story that is very relevant to present day issues family's are dealing with.

Inside the O'Briens was very similar to that story in which the patriarch of the O'Brien family is diagnosed with Huntington's disease. Huntington's is not only a fatal disease but is also hereditary, with a 50/50 chance of children receiving the mutated gene resulting in the disease. Joe O'Brien is an Irish police officer from Charlestown, Mass. He is the epitome of all Irish-Catholic-Police-Boston stereotypes you can think of. At first Joe does not understand what is happening to him. He throws it off saying he is tired or it is just his bum knee bothering him. But once his symptoms continue to increase, his wife, family, and coworkers really start to worry and convince him to see a doctor. The story continues on throughout his struggle through the disease and the struggle of his four kids and their decisions to be tested to see if they are carries of the gene. Be tested and know your fate or don't get tested, pass the possible gene along to your own children, in turn risking their lives as well as yours. A struggle all four deal with in very different ways that have huge impacts on their lives.

The story is well wrote and very interesting how each member of the family handles the diagnosis. Seeing the four children struggle to decide what is the best for them and their future makes a person really think about their own paths. While I did enjoy the story, what I didn't like was how similar it is to Still Alice. I was told by a friend today that "some writers only have one good story within them and do not know when to stop." I think Genova has this issue. She writes well about struggles and decisions that plague every day people but its just the same story over and over with a new disease. Not much for originality. I also felt no closure with the book. The ending was nothing like I was expecting and I was very upset by this. The reader is left out to dry with no real ending to anything that has happened. It was very irritating even though I know why Genova did what she did. She wanted the reader to not focus on the "what ifs" but rather focus on the present. Live in the moment. You only get one chance at this life. Make it worth living.

As always, feel free to share any recommendations, suggestions, and comments! Thanks again NetGalley!

Happy reading fools :)

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