Thursday, May 20, 2010

Review: Handle With Care

Handle With Care
By Jodi Picoult

The novel, Handle with care opens with the line, "Things break all the time. Glasses, amd dishes and fingernails. Cars and contracts and potato chips. You can break a record, a horse and a dollar. You can break the ice."

Handle with care is about a family trying to survive with their daughter's physical handicap called,Osteogenesis Imperfecta(also called OI). Charlotte and Sean have a daughter, Amelia.  She is also dealing with her sister's illness as a teenager would.

The story tells the journey of how Willow was concieved by infertility drugs. Charlotte's friend Piper, is a OB doctor. She has been trying to concieve.  Charlotte asks Piper to take her on as a patient.  Piper agrees. Complications happen and Piper does have aminiocentesis done.  Something does look unusually, but decides to just monitor.  Then at the 28th week, when it is too late to have any alternative. Piper diagnosed her daughter still a fetus with OI.  She gives birth.  OI, is a physical handicap that breaks her bones at a drop of hat.  While she is in the womb she has broken her bones in many places.

Now, when Willow is older. The family decides to take a trip to Disney World, in Orlando Florida.
While the entire family is there. Willow breaks her femur. She is taken to the hospital.  When the doctor's order x-rays they find that Willow has several broken bones.  The hospital suspects abuse, they accuse the father of abusing Willow.  This of course is not true.  Social workers take Willow and Amelia away suspecting abuse.  Charlotte, forgot to bring the paper to certify that their daughter has OI.

A lawyer is brought in to help them sue the hospital. Charlotte and Sean find out they can not do anything. But the lawyer gives them a idea that they can sue the doctor, that was caring for Willow while she was a fetus.  The lawyer tells them, it was Piper's responsibility to tell them that she suspected that that was some thing wrong from the start. Piper, did not do this. Instead she waited to tell her when it was 28 weeks.   A abortion was too late.  Their bills were tremendous and Charlotte thought this was the best way to finanancially help with their medical bills.

Piper's reputation is ruined. She loses her practice.

In the beginning Sean wanted this too. But after alot of thought he changed his mind.  Charlottle wanted the lawsuit to continue. Sean left the house and filed for divorce.

In the meantime their daughter, Amelia was having her own trouble. Amelia had become bulimic and was cutting her self.  She was seeking attention even if it was the wrong attention. Because Amelia had a hard time dealing with Willow's illness. She was not getting any attention so she was seeking her own pain.

The lawsuit had started and they put the entire family at the stand. Sean knew he still loved his wife and did not want to contine with the divorce.  Piper's daughter, Emma was good friends with Amelia. She knew she was cutting her self and vomiting. She told her mother. What happened Willow saw her sister doing it( Willow was 6). She immalated her sister and cut her self. Willow cut her self so bad she had to be rushed to the hospital.  Then Piper told Sean what his older daughter did.

Right before the next court day Amelia's mother told her she would be going away for therapy, and help. Amelia decided after the conversation she was going to get back at her mother some how. But it back fired. The jury chose for the defendent.  She won enough money for her daughter to survive with all the medical treatment necessary for the rest of her life


SPOILER

 At the end ,
Willow goes out to a patch of ice. She walks on the ice. The ice begins to shatter." There was a moan that rippled across the surface of the pond, as the sky was crying. And then suddenly, all around me, the ice became a spidewebm and I was the bug stuck at its center."
"There was glass above me and the runny eye of the sun in the sky, and I beat my fists against it. It was like the ice had sealed itself on top of me again, and I could not push through. I was so numb, I had stopped shivering."  The family never cashed the check it was sitting on the refigerator door.

My thought on Handle With Care.  This book reminded me of Sister's Keeper.  A illness, the similarities are there, the siblings, the ending is exactly the same.  The problem is over and then the they family fought for what they believed in. After , it was like a waste the family did it for nothing because at the end she died anyway in both stories.  I read another book of her's that it seemed similar to a movie. 
If you never read Sister's Keeper than by all means read the book. I did find myself intrigued by finding out about the illness. How each one dealt with the family member's illness.  I felt like I did connect with the situation of the illness by Willow

. I don't know how she could say I wish I had a abortion when Willow is alive. How do you do that. But, that is what the court case was about.  She loved her daughter. She wanted the court case because she wanted medical security for her daughter. 

The one thing I do like about Jodi Picoult's novels. It is a great discussion opener about different social situations.  There is always alot to talk about.  The subject, would you handle it this way? Or which way would you handle this.

  I do love the title of the book. Handle With Care, because of the many franctures Willow had.


Monday, May 17, 2010

Book Club Meeting In May

We had our book club hosted by me. We had nine members and friends at my house. We had a good discussion, and very diverse. What I liked this time I had a new computer that was set up at my living room. I could access everything from my computer. If someone had a question about the next book all I had to do was google the information. It was just awesome.

I opened up the book club discussion with the synopsis of the book. Then I read snipets of book reviews. We talked about the history, the isolation, the brotherly love, and of course the hoarding.

There was so much to talk about in this book. One person brought up the theme of the book. About taking the wars in prospective and the different wars of Langley's life. WW1, WW2, Korean War, and Vietnam and the effect of all the different wars that effected Langley's life. I thought I took all aspects of the book. But never realized that one.

We than talked about hoarding. Most people thought that hoarder's was a illness that happened to senior citizens. I brought up to watch AandE and you will see young people having this problem as well as old. Usually it seems hoarding comes from some kind of tragedy in someone's life. But I am not a counselor. If you would like to know. Then you need to contact someone that is more experienced than I. I know when I was younger, a preteen. I had a friend that I knew her parents were like that. It was a obstacle course in their house.

I enjoyed hosting and discussing the book, Homer and Langley. I have been involved with studies that I did not concentrate in the past book choices. This was the first book I felt in a long time that I became infused in the book as well as the discussion. This is a good book to have a book discussion. I did find discussion questions. But we made some up ourselves.

This is our schedule till September:
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
Nineteen Minutes
Realiable Wife
Nineteenth Wife

I am happy with the book choices we made up to September.

How to Get The Groove Back

I am reading Jodi Picoult's book for months now. It is not that I don't like the book. Because I picked the book to read because I knew it would grab me.

But, I was in school and kept getting interupted. So, there was a couple of months I did not read the book at all. When that happens I usually toss the book aside and forget it.

But the beginning grabbed me. It is hard to pick up the pace after you have not picked up the book in quite awhile. I am attempting to try to read it. I don't like to start over from the beginning. When I do start to read it again. I know I have lost something. But I don't want to start over. Hopefully I will get the rythm back.

What do you do? Go to another book? Start over? start where you stopped? That is what I am attempting to do. If it is where you stopped, how do you get the groove back?

Friday, May 14, 2010

Welcome Me Back

Hi Y'all, I have been gone for months. I feel like a visitor right now. Many bloggers that have changed their blogs I don't recognize. I feel like a stranger. I am sure after I awhile it will feel like home again. Well, what I see is that many of you have re-modeled your blog.

I am very impressed. That has me inspired. Also, I am happy to see that blogger has redesigned some of the templates I see Blogger has made some changes too. They have made a new navigation bar. Still can not figure it out.

I will have to wait till my son, comes home. That will be in September. Anyway I want to tell you that you all have done a wonderful job recreating your blogs. My son has re-designed my a bit too.

But now, this is a call for help. I will pay one of you, if you can help. Some how my son lost part of the blog where you can post pictures and graphics. It is gone can someone help??

Review: Homer and Langley

Homer and Langley
By E.L.Doctorow

This story takes place at the turn of the century. Their father is a physician and their mother is a opera singer. Their story about two wealthy and well to do sophistocated brothers. Both their parents died a month apart from Spanish Influenza.

The story is loosely based on the Collyer brothers. Homer is the narrator. Homer becomes blind, he likes music and becomes a pianist. Where Langley goes to college and is very interested in engineering. He likes to tinker with household items.

Langley goes off to Europe to fight in WW1. He Becomes mentally ill from the effects of the mustard gas.

Langley comes home from the war. Langley doesn't seem right, to Homer but he accepts him madness and all.

At this time they go out of the house, go to parties, with women, to speakeasies. They have tea parties, where the house is starting to fill with newspapers, and other micellaneous junk.

This is the start of the hoarding. Langley starts bringing things, and collecting item in the house including a model T into the dining room. They don't throw things away.

The last tea parties,the brothers had. The police chief confronted and blackmailed Langley. If you give me money under the table I will turn my eye. This is the start of Langley's anger against police, and the establishment.

Langley had a strange theory. He believed of The replacement of theory. Replacing one generation to the next with something better.

The brothers became reclusive after all the servants left. Langley did not want any communication coming into their world. When you read you can see everything in your mind. When you watch TV you loose your imagination. Homer believed that every room was becoming a obstacle course. He was loosing sense where everything was. " I was a traveler who had lost his map". Homer knew that Langley was not right but relied on him because of his blindness.



Toward the end of their life. Society was coming into their surrounding. The firemen entered their home that was becoming delapidated. The electric, water and phone companies were coming and knocking on their door for overdue and past utility bills. The banks were coming because of foreclosure of the house.

But Langley went down to the bank while everyone witnessed this strange person dressed strangely. At this time it was the 1960's. They allowed a few hippies in the house which the reclusive Langley and Homer fit in because of anti establishment ideas.

By the end of their life they had tons and tons of garbage filled to the gills, bursting through the walls.

Langley died first trying to bring food to his brother. Unfortunately the house was full of booby traps that killed him. Homer died waiting from food from Langley. They found Homer first.

They could not find Langley for weeks. He was found later under tons of garbage. This was the story of the century. They became a folklore heroes. The Colleyer's have a park named after them.

Hoarding is a psychiatric illness. Hoarding reality shows are televised frequently on television. They say people hoard to guard themselves from society. Hoarder don't like to throw things away because they want to keep the history. They feel like they are throwing apart of something away that someone gave them. EL Doctorow gave us the Colleyer brothers story interwined with history going on. The history was passing by in their lives. Like a blink of a eye.

I had a hard time figuring out what years when something happened in their life. Like I said before history just flew by. It possibly was meant for you to think history was passing without you figuring out what years they were talking about.

I realized the story takes place during WW1, society was full of life excesses and america was materialistic. Right before the stock market crash.

Also I thought some of the things that happened like the gangsters coming to the house was a bit far fetched. But possibly it was meant that way. Since their life story was strange too.

I did enjoy reading this because I did not know anything about the Colleyer brothers. This is the first time I read E. L. Doctorow, and his writing I enjoyed. It was not full of discription. But just enough to get the idea.

This is a very different kind of book that I have ever read. It did take me a few days to digest. I needed to think how I was going to write this review. No one send me a review copy. I did this for my book club.

STRANGE BUT TRUE
If you like history you might want to think about picking up a copy. I enjoyed it.

Check out my Review of Small Great Things

Check out my review of Jodi Picoult's novel, Small Great Things https://bagelsbooksandschmooze.blogspot.com/2017/08/small-great-things...