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


 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.

1 comment:

bermudaonion said...

Picoult's books do give you a lot to think about and a lot to discuss, that's for sure!

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