Handle with Care (英語) マスマーケット – 2009/9/15
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Beloved #1 New York Times bestselling author Jodi Picoult offers us an unforgettable novel about the fragility of life and the lengths we will go to protect it.
Every expectant parent will tell you that they don't want a perfect baby, just a healthy one. Charlotte and Sean O'Keefe would have asked for a healthy baby, too, if they'd been given the choice. Instead, their lives are made up of sleepless nights, mounting bills, the pitying stares of "luckier" parents, and maybe worst of all, the what-ifs. What if their child had been born healthy? But it's all worth it because Willow is, well, funny as it seems, perfect. She's smart as a whip, on her way to being as pretty as her mother, kind, brave, and for a five-year-old an unexpectedly deep source of wisdom. Willow is Willow, in sickness and in health.
Everything changes, though, after a series of events forces Charlotte and her husband to confront the most serious what-ifs of all. What if Charlotte should have known earlier of Willow's illness? What if things could have been different? What if their beloved Willow had never been born? To do Willow justice, Charlotte must ask herself these questions and one more. What constitutes a valuable life?
Emotionally riveting and profoundly moving, Handle with Care brings us into the heart of a family bound by an incredible burden, a desperate will to keep their ties from breaking, and, ultimately, a powerful capacity for love.
Praise for Jodi Picoult -- : 'Jodi Picoult is not one to shy away from fictional controversy; in fact, the more tangled and messy a moral dilemma appears, the better she likes it. -- Daily Mail 'Impossible to put down and stayed in my mind long after I had finished' -- Observer 'Superb, many-stranded, and grimly topical' -- The Times 'Picoult has an uncanny knack of dreaming up moral dilemmas that you cannot ignore: you must know the resolution ... A challenging and clever read' -- Sunday Express 20080413 'Dark, serious books that explore family relationships and scary moral dilemmas involving religion, crime and politics' -- Heat 20080419 --このテキストは、ペーパーバック版に関連付けられています。商品の説明をすべて表示する
主人公の家族だけが幸せになり親友Piperが余りに可哀想だなと思いつつ最終章に突入しました。初めて一人称の語り手としてWillowが登場したので「まさか・・・」と思いましたが、そのまさかでした。冷蔵庫の扉に張り付けられたまま現金化されなかった8百万ドルは結局のところ無駄になった訳で、にも関わらずPiperは街を離れ、ハッピーな人が誰一人いない全てが虚しく感じられる結末です。作者はよっぽどこの「パターン」が好きなのでしょうが、このラストは間違いなく賛否両論でしょう。“My Sister's Keeper”と同じでしょと言われれば、それまでですが。
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Jodi Picoult is an extremely talented writer, and this book was a #1 New York Times Bestseller, but somehow it missed the mark for me. This is a story about a family's struggle after their newborn baby girl is born with a genetic birth defect known as Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI). This is a condition where the child's bones are brittle, so brittle that they break with the slightest impact from a fall, bumping into a table, or even a hug. Mounting medical bills and the need for special equipment cause financial problems and Charlotte, the mother, ends up filing a "wrongful birth" lawsuit against her obstetrician (who happens to be her best friend) for not discovering this condition and giving Charlotte and her husband Sean the option to abort the fetus. Religious aspects (Charlotte and Sean are catholic) and moral decisions tear this family apart. The ending was predictable.
I'm sure there are many who do not agree with my rating of this book. But I need to be honest with my humble opinion.
Six-year-old Willow has osteogenesis imperfecta (OI), brittle bone disease. She's broken over 50 bones, sometimes just by sneezing. Charlotte, her overprotective mother, is always at her side. Her father, Sean, works overtime to buy Willow's medical supplies and her mounting expenses. Troubled twelve-year-old Amelia, rounds out the family. Charlotte decides to sue her obgyn and best friend Piper for not noticing the OI in an earlier, essentially saying she would have aborted her beloved Willow, all of their lives are thrown into irreparable turmoil.
Amelia and the adult characters were richly layered with nuanced traits that probably make some readers love them, and others want to strangle them. Instead of finding Charlotte sympathetic, I saw her as myopic, overprotective to Willow, neglectful to Amelia, selfish, stubborn, and a lousy friend and partner. I liked the other characters and felt most sympathetic to Amelia and Piper. Willow seemed flat, the sick girl with a great attitude who everyone loved. All of the characters, except for Willow, were believable.
Veteran novelist Jodi Picoult told the story in second person "you", who was Willow. Charlotte, Sean, Piper, Amelia, Maris (the attorney) all had sections with their first person POVs. Even Willow had a chapter at the end. Picoult did a great job staying in the "you" POV, though the first person voices all sounded the same. And there was an added bonus; Charlotte, a pastry chef, had recipes of the treats she baked weaved in through the chapters. There's also a twist I hadn't anticipated.
The story was very engaging and evenly paced. I finished reading in a day, although the book has over 400 pages. I loved the moral/ethical dilemma, it made me think about how I would feel in each person's shoes, even Charlotte, who I disliked.
Readers who enjoy women's fiction, stories of family, friendship or medical dramas will be drawn to HANDLE WITH CARE. It's one of Picoult's best works.
She goes into the aspects of what its like to raise a child with special needs and to fight for that child no matter what the cost. The characters were well developed as each chapter was written in the first person from the perspective of that character. The viewpoints on the various plot angles were examined from their perspectives.
The story draws the reader in emotionally and psychologically as it examines various relationships and how they go through changes-good and bad as the reader is taken through a legal battle brought on by the mother of a child born with a severe bone disease. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to read a good, well written story and learn a few things along the way.
Picolt does a good job of drawing the reader into Charlotte's personal dilemma. What would we do if our daughter, whom we loved and treasured, had needs that strapped the family financially and made her future care problematic. Would we have aborted the fetus if we had known in advance? Would we sue our best friend because she didn't correctly read the signs on the first sonogram? Would we risk our daughter feeling that we wouldn't have wanted her if we had known? With such fodder for discussion it is no wonder that Jodi Picoult's novels are such book club favorites.