My Review of HANDLE WITH CARE by Jodi Picoult

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

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About the book: 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.

My Review: Up until this book Jodi had been one of my favorite authors. Now I won't read another book she writes. In this book the lawyer that Charlotte goes to is adopted and during the course of the book she is looking for her birth mother. What irks me more than anything is that during the course of the book Jodi compares the lawsuit that Charlotte has waged to adoption. They are two polar opposites! Charlotte's lawsuit has to do with her daughter's medical condition, Marin was given up because her mother KNEW she couldn't give her the life she needed. I should say here that I am adopted and that is why this book has struck a cord in me. In the course of the book as the trial goes on, Marin is looking for her birth mother you hear her say to herself, "if I would have been born with blue eyes, and blond hair would she have kept me?" I have known I was adopted all of my life, didn't understand it until I was older, yet I never ONCE had those thoughts! I KNEW that I was given up because my birth mother LOVED me so much to do so! She KNEW she couldn't take care of me and she knew that a married couple could. How dare Jodi make adoption sound the way that she did! The brief encounter that Marin and her birth mother have Marin's birth mother says to her "There are just certain babies that shouldn't be born." This is prior to Marin knowing that this woman is her mother. That is just so out of line and WRONG!
It was pretty clear to me that she hadn't talked to any adoptees about they're experience. Sadly she lost a very devoted reader on this one! Ce - La - Ve!
P.S. My adoption story is similar to Marin's in Handle With Care, if you want to know, just ask me I'm happy to share. That's another reason why I say that Jodi is way, way off base here!

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