Monday, July 13, 2009

Handle With Care (Jodi Picoult)

Well, now you will finally be introduced to my absolute obsession with Jodi Picoult's writing style. I started reading her books in the late '90s with "The Pact", and I eagerly look forward to her new title every March. Grisham and Picoult release their new books at about the same time every year. While Grisham used to write very, very thrilling material, he now seems to be following the unfortunate "write junk to make my deadline and more money quickly" protocol (like Patterson). Picoult, however, writes stories of quality every single year. What is so interesting about her is that she makes you have sympathy for characters who you can't believe you can have sympathy for. Picoult writes all of her stories from many different viewpoints. No character is 100% right and no character is 100% wrong.

"Handle With Care" is Picoult's newest. It is so difficult to determine her best, but I believe this is it. Willow is a child with osteogenesis imperfecta, a debilitating disease which makes bones break at the slightest strain. Normal childhood events like going to Disney World and the first day of Kindergarten are magnified 100 times with the possibility that a bone will break. Charlotte and Sean O'Keefe are Willow's parents who desperately love their daughter. With mounting medical bills and the accusations of child abuse due to Willow's breaks, the O'Keefes are forced to confront some what-ifs. What if they had known about Willow's disease before she was born? What determines a valuable life?

I will be reviewing many of Picoult's books in this blog, but I wanted to do my favorite first. You will never regret reading one of her books. They will confront you with questions about your own beliefs and fears and will keep you up late into the night. There is a reason why she is on the bestseller lists every year.