Publishing Date: April 7th, 2015
Genre: Adult Contemporary
Pages: 352 pgs
Summary from Goodreads:
From award-winning, New York Times bestselling author and neuroscientist Lisa Genova comes a powerful new novel that does for Huntington’s Disease what her debut Still Alice did for Alzheimer’s.Joe O’Brien is a forty-four-year-old police officer from the Irish Catholic neighborhood of Charlestown, Massachusetts. A devoted husband, proud father of four children in their twenties, and respected officer, Joe begins experiencing bouts of disorganized thinking, uncharacteristic temper outbursts, and strange, involuntary movements. He initially attributes these episodes to the stress of his job, but as these symptoms worsen, he agrees to see a neurologist and is handed a diagnosis that will change his and his family’s lives forever: Huntington’s Disease.Huntington’s is a lethal neurodegenerative disease with no treatment and no cure. Each of Joe’s four children has a 50 percent chance of inheriting their father’s disease, and a simple blood test can reveal their genetic fate. While watching her potential future in her father’s escalating symptoms, twenty-one-year-old daughter Katie struggles with the questions this test imposes on her young adult life. Does she want to know? What if she’s gene positive? Can she live with the constant anxiety of not knowing?As Joe’s symptoms worsen and he’s eventually stripped of his badge and more, Joe struggles to maintain hope and a sense of purpose, while Katie and her siblings must find the courage to either live a life “at risk” or learn their fate.
Praised for writing that “explores the resilience of the human spirit” (The San Francisco Chronicle), Lisa Genova has once again delivered a novel as powerful and unforgettable as the human insights at its core.
I couldn't pass up the chance to review Lisa Genova's newest novel. I have really enjoyed each of her previous books and she is definitely someone on my autobuy list. I mean seriously, who needs another excuse to buy books? Not this girl. This book focuses on an Irish Catholic family living in Massachusetts. The patriarch of the family begins exhibiting strange physical symptoms that include being clumsy and falling as well as being quick to anger. After a lot of hesitation Joe, the father, visits the doctor with his wife and is diagnosed with Huntington's Disease. The thing about this disease is that it is genetic and his children have a 50% chance of also having the disease. It is also degenerative and there is no cure.
The book is told in the father's perspective but also in the point of view of one of his daughters. I liked the back and forth in this book. It showed how terrifying this type of illness can be not only from for the person going through it but also for the family. Joe's daughter Katie goes back and forth about getting tested for the gene. This would be my nightmare. If you find out and you don't have the gene then sigh of relief but if you find out and you have it I feel like I'd have a hard time not being depressed and always looking for signs of it. It would alter the course of your life pre-Huntingtons. I also think that to not find out would be difficult. You'd always be worried about it and again this can definitely affect the way you live your life. This is my nightmare.
Genova knows how to terrify you in unexpected ways. She reminds us of the fragility of life and demonstrates the importance of having a support system in place to help navigate through life's little surprises.
This book was well written and I really enjoyed the story. I have to admit that there were a couple things that irked me about the book but I can completely understand why they were done. This makes it less bothersome but for this reason I didn't give it a 5 star review. I don't want to get into those factors too much because I feel they could be spoilery. If you're interested or wondering and don't mind spoilers then message me and I'll let you know but otherwise I would encourage you to read for yourselves. You will never be disappointed with a Lisa Genova book.