Be omnivorous, don't just read one kind of book, read everything. - Richard Wagamese

Monday, May 18, 2015

Review: Inside the O’Briens by Lisa Genova

Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Published: 2015
Pages: 352
Source: Publisher
Rating: 4/5

 Joe is forty-four years old; he’s a proud Boston police officer, an Irish Catholic and a devoted husband and father to four.  Recently, Joe has been having issues with disorganization; he has sudden outbursts and some involuntary movements.  When Joe is forced to go to a doctor, he has no idea how much his world is about to change.  He is diagnosed with Huntington’s disease; a devastating disease that has no cure and a gradual, early death. Joe has to come to terms with his immediate future, and the future of his children, as each of his children has a fifty-percent chance of inheriting this disease themselves.

Joe wants to hold on to his position on the police force for as long as possible, but rumors start to go around and he doesn’t know how much longer he can keep his job. His involuntary movements start to increase, and he becomes embarrassed. Joe is mostly scared for his four children. He grew up believing his mother was an alcoholic, but now he realizes she had Huntington’s disease. His four children are young adults, and each deal with the disease in their own way. Should they get tested? What would happen if they tested positive? Can they live their lives to the fullest, knowing they would have an early death?

I read and loved Still Alice years ago, and couldn’t wait to read this one. It started off slow, but picked up and I really started to enjoy it. Genova writes from Joe’s perspective, as well as his daughter Katie’s perspective. Inside the O’Briens' is an eye opening and honest read. A family trying to come together to support their father but also confused about their own future.  I didn’t love this one as much as Still Alice, but I thought it was a great read. 

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  1. This sounds like another winner from Genova!

  2. Not reading your review, since I not only have the ARC (won from the publisher) but I also have a finished copy sitting on my shelf unread. lol. LOVE Lisa's work, though ... can't wait to read this one!

  3. I enjoyed Inside the O'Briens as well. I think I liked it a bit better than Still Alice. Lisa Genova's books have grown on me. I picked up a copy of Left Neglected recently, I'm hoping I'll like it just as much as her newer books.

    1. Have you read Love Anthony? I really enjoyed that one.

  4. That was my issue here - I ended up putting it down because it was so slow to start. I may pick up again, thanks for the review!