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Handle with Care
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Fans of popular author Picoult (My Sister's Keeper) won't be disappointed with her newest novel, which offers a glimpse into the life of a family whose daughter is born with a severe medical condition that could have been prevented, but at what cost? Sean and Charlotte O'Keefe's magical world is turned upside down when daughter Willow is born with brittle bone disease, a disease so severe that Charlotte is forced into the role of caretaker for Willow and emotionally abandoning older daughter Amelia. It's only when Charlotte decides to sue for wrongful death that the family begins to unravel-even if the reason for the lawsuit is for Willow's future. In order to win the lawsuit, Willow's parents have to claim that they would have aborted her if they had known about her condition, a claim that is so abhorrent that it literally fractures the family. Picoult's novels are like Russian nesting dolls, with each plot unveiling a subplot, leading to an ending that readers never see coming. Highly recommended for all public libraries. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 11/1/08.]-Marika Zemke, Commerce Twp. Community Lib., MI Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

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.) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

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