OMG! Lisa Genova is back with her best book yet! INSIDE THE O’BRIENS, by Lisa Genova, will do for Huntington’s disease what STILL ALICE did for Alzheimer’s.
Joe O’Brien is a forty-three year old Boston cop living in the Charlestown area of Boston with his wife and four adult children. He’s tough, but soft and devoted when it comes to his family and his job. When Joe suddenly begins having unprecedented outbursts of temper over unlikely things, and finds he can not concentrate while writing up his work sheets, then begins losing some motor control, well, he and his wife decide it’s time to see a specialist.
Joe is diagnosed with Huntington’s disease. He finds it’s a lethal disease with no cure and no treatment. Horrific. And to top it all off Joe’s children have a 50/50 chance of having the gene which would mean they would also eventually have this disease that robs one of all dignity.
INSIDE THE O’BRIENS, is told in Joe’s voice and the voice of his 21-year old daughter, Katie, a yoga instructor. Each child must decide whether or not to have the blood test that will change their life forever. Because if you have the gene, you will certainly get the disease. The disease that could take 10-20 years to take your life, but take it it will.
The first chapter is quite witty, even though we know something is happening to Joe. After being a cop for his entire life, one morning he can not find his gun, the one he’s worn on his hip forever. He swears and accuses his wife Rosie of moving it. He’s having a hard time thinking, lately. He looks everywhere until he finally finds it; his loaded gun lying quietly on the sink in the kitchen with his kids having breakfast nearby. This is mild considering the scenes that are coming next.
I absolutely adored this book. The writing is amazing. The story is gut-wrenching but unputdownable. Joe’s voice rings true. Rosie’s trials and tribulations are certainly plausible. The children each have demons. One daughter is a ballet dancer. One son is a teacher, while another works in a bar and is not responsible. One son is married and he and his wife have an announcement…
Lisa Genova is a neuroscientist turned best-selling author. She tackles awful diseases. She uses her story-telling wisdom to inform those of us who are new to these diseases how and what they are. The families she makes up are totally believable. She makes these people come to life in a way we never forget. She has done her research to the Nth degree.
Lisa Genova opens INSIDE THE O’BRIENS with a page on Huntington’s disease. After reading about this unbeatable and horrific disease, I totally agree that it is the cruelest disease known to man. Lisa Genova travels worldwide speaking about the topics depicted in her popular novels.
I received my amazing finished hardcopy from Gallery Books, an Imprint of Simon & Schuster, Inc. I can’t thank them enough!