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Handle with Care

Handle with Care

Hardback

By (author) Jodi Picoult

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  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton Ltd
  • Format: Hardback | 528 pages
  • Dimensions: 161mm x 240mm x 46mm | 814g
  • Publication date: 28 April 2009
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0340979011
  • ISBN 13: 9780340979013
  • Sales rank: 249,068

Product description

Charlotte O'Keefe's beautiful, much-longed-for, adored daughter Willow is born with osteogenesis imperfecta - a very severe form of brittle bone disease. If she slips on a crisp packet she could break both her legs, and spend six months in a half body cast. After years of caring for Willow, her family faces financial disaster. Then Charlotte is offered a lifeline. She could sue her obstetrician for wrongful birth - for not having diagnosed Willow's condition early enough in the pregnancy to be able to abort the child. The payout could secure Willow's future. But to get it would mean Charlotte suing her best friend. And standing up in court to declare that she would have prefered that Willow had never been born ...

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Author information

Jodi Picoult grew up in Nesconset, New York. She received an A.B. in creative writing from Princeton and a master's degree in education from Harvard. Her previous novels include Keeping Faith, The Pact, and Mercy. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband and three children.

Review quote

'[Jodi Picoult's] legions of fans won't be disappointed by her latest and best novel yet ... Picoult's sharply observed characters leap out of the pages and will stay on your mind for weeks. Warm, addictive and heartbreaking, this is a brilliant must-read.' She 'Jodi Picoult is not one to shy away from fictional controversy; in fact, the more tangled and messy a moral dilemma appears, the better she likes it. Daily Mail 'An emotional and moving page-turner' Woman and Home 'Excellent read, very touching a thought provoking.' Essentials Superb, many-stranded, and grimly topical The Times Picoult has an uncanny knack of dreaming up moral dilemmas that you cannot ignore: you must know the resolution ... A challenging and clever read Sunday Express 'Heart-wrenching and beautifully written, this is a fascinating story of a terrible moral dilemma.' Take a Break 'As ever, it's thought-provoking stuff.' Bella Dark, serious books that explore family relationships and scary moral dilemmas involving religion, crime and politics Heat 'In HANDLE WITH CARE, she is at her heart-wrenching best. Prepare to be moved.' Crave 'This addictive novel rings true' London LITE 'Jodi Picoult is one of the most talented authors playing her trade at this time. ... Certainly Jodi Picoult can command language that really gets under the skin of her readers. She is a genius at manipulating the emotions.' reviewingtheevidence

Editorial reviews

In another issue-driven novel, Picoult (Change of Heart, 2008, etc.) explores the impact of "wrongful birth" litigation on an ordinary New Hampshire family.Charlotte O'Keefe, a prominent pastry chef, was thrilled when she conceived at age 38 without resorting to fertility treatments. Although she has a daughter, Amelia, by a previous relationship, she and her new husband, police officer Sean, wanted a child of their own. Charlotte's best friend Piper unwisely agrees to be her OB-GYN. Eighteen weeks into the pregnancy, during a routine ultrasound, Piper, looking for signs of possible Down syndrome, discounts the import of the fetus's unusually transparent cranium. At 27 weeks, another ultrasound reveals that Charlotte's daughter has sustained several fractures in utero, a sign that she suffers from osteogenesis imperfecta (OI), a rare congenital defect that causes brittle bones and severe complications (including scoliosis, respiratory problems and years of costly orthopedic interventions). Now age six, Willow, still toddler-sized, cannot walk, play or even turn over in bed without risking a compound fracture. Charlotte abandoned her career to care for Willow 24/7. Although Willow is precocious intellectually and for the most part a joy to be around, her illness is, inarguably, a drain on family finances and emotions. After a vacation at Disney World goes horribly awry, the O'Keefes spiral apart. Charlotte decides to file a wrongful-birth lawsuit against Piper. The proceeds from the lawsuit, she rationalizes, would provide the quality of lifetime care Willow needs, even if suing amounts to betrayal. Sean is appalled by the implications of the lawsuit: that Willow should never have been born, and that Charlotte, if properly cautioned, would have contemplated abortion. Amelia, once a normal teen, becomes a bulimic, self-mutilating shoplifter.Picoult's strengths are evident in her exhaustively researched and gut-wrenching demonstration of OI's devastating effects and the impact of a child's disability on a sibling. However, too often characterization takes a back seat to polemic. Worse, the central moral quandary is undermined by an overly pat resolution. (Kirkus Reviews)