Change of Heart ) delivers another engrossing family drama, spiced with her trademark blend of medicine, law and love. Charlotte and"/>
 

Handle with Care

Jodi Picoult, Author
Jodi Picoult, Author . Atria $27.95 (496p) ISBN 978-0-7432-9641-0
Reviewed on: 12/15/2008
Release date: 03/01/2009

Perennial bestseller Picoult (Change of Heart ) delivers another engrossing family drama, spiced with her trademark blend of medicine, law and love. Charlotte and Sean O'Keefe's daughter, Willow, was born with brittle bone disease, a condition that requires Charlotte to act as full-time caregiver and has strained their emotional and financial limits. Willow's teenaged half-sister, Amelia, suffers as well, overshadowed by Willow's needs and lost in her own adolescent turmoil. When Charlotte decides to sue for wrongful birth in order to obtain a settlement to ensure Willow's future, the already strained family begins to implode. Not only is the defendant Charlotte's longtime friend, but the case requires Charlotte and Sean to claim that had they known of Willow's condition, they would have terminated the pregnancy, a statement that strikes at the core of their faith and family. Picoult individualizes the alternating voices of the narrators more believably than she has previously, and weaves in subplots to underscore the themes of hope, regret, identity and family, leading up to her signature closing twists. (Mar.)

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