Handle with Care: Book summary and reviews of Handle with Care by Jodi Picoult

Handle with Care

By Jodi Picoult

Handle with Care
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  • Published in USA  Mar 2009,
    496 pages.

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Book Summary

Things break all the time.
Day breaks, waves break, voices break.
Promises break.
Hearts break.

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. Written with the grace and wisdom she's become famous for, 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.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. 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." - Publishers Weekly.

"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." - Library Journal.

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Reader Reviews

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Rated 2 of 5 of 5 by Quantum Cow
Handled With Disappointment
I love Jodi Picoult, I really do. I discovered her at Denver Childrens' Hosp. As a single mom of a totally disabled child, there are too many unexplored options. I am paid to take care of my son (3 weeks training for CNA License!) Medicaid? SSI? Hello! There are TONS of resources for families! No need for anyone to go through this! I am a devoted fan, but I agree that the settings, too many points of view, and subjects already explored in previous books just do not work here. Not to mention lack of research on resourses. Disappointed.

Rated 5 of 5 of 5 by Tiffany Jamie
Handle With Care
This is an enjoyable yet heartbreaking story about a girl who suffers from OI. It questions medical ethics and personal morality. It is definitely a MUST READ. :)

Rated 2 of 5 of 5 by martha valencia
bad ending
To start the book is a little disappointing with a despicable and heartless character like "Charlotte", there isn't any mother in the real world like Charlotte. Besides after you finally got engaged the end is just cruel; and What's up with the recipes, I don't ge it and it is boring! who needs a recipe in the middle of the book???

I don't recomend this book, it is a waste of time!
M.V.

Rated 2 of 5 of 5 by Danielle
Book of promise..ruined with horrible ending.
I read this book on recommendation from my mother, because we love to read books together. I started reading it around the same time she did, and finished it faster. The day I finished reading it, I called her and basically begged her to stop reading it.

SPOILER ALERT: If you have interest in this book at all, look away NOW

I've never been so ANGRY at the outcome of a book in my life. To have these characters go through such an emotional ordeal, and to have it end in such a heartless abrupt way is just unheard of.

To have us readers take the time to pour over these pages and get involved with these characters..and deal with all this legal mumbo-jumbo. To have the MOTHER go through such horrible abuse, and inner-turmoil..it's just TOO MUCH. She sues her best friend, goes through a bitter separation from her husband, and gets put on display as the Worst Mother in the World by the media.

Who the hell would write about a mother admitting that she wishes her child were never born anyway?

I was born with Cerebral Palsy, we had our own share of hardships dealing with my disability. But I know for a fact that my mother would rather die than ever admit anything like that..the thought would never cross her mind..for no amount of money in the world.

Then..finally, at the end..THEY WIN..and the 8 million dollars? gets put in Willow's casket after she drowns in a frozen pond.

Did I completely ruin this book for you? I HOPE so. Because its NOT worth reading. The only thing I learned about this book is that Jodi Picoult, though talented as she seems to be as a writer..needs to work on empathy for her characters. Because she comes off as a cold, heartless bitch.

This is the second book I've read by here where she's abruptly killed a main character, in order to achieve a 'poetic ending'.

DO NOT waste your money, time, or emotion reading this book. You will be cheated, in all those aspects.

Rated 5 of 5 of 5 by Riley
I loved this book!
I absolutely loooove this book. it was soooo good. I actually listened to it on tape and I couldn't stop listening to it. it was wonderful. It was heartwarming, sad, and disbelieving. Jodi Picoult knows how to write a good book, and entertain all of her audience.

Rated 5 of 5 of 5 by Ellenor Ronelle
Handle with care
An inspiring novel sure to captivate all readers with every page turn.

...1 more reader reviews

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Author Information

Jodi Picoult Author Biography

Author photograph by Gasper Tringale.

Jodi Picoult is the bestselling author of the following novels: Songs of the Humpback Whale (1992), Harvesting the Heart (1994), Picture Perfect (1995), Mercy (1996), The Pact (1998); Keeping Faith (1999), Plain Truth (2000), Salem Falls (2001), Perfect Match (2002), Second Glance (2003), My Sister's Keeper (2004), Vanishing Acts (2005), The Tenth Circle (2006), Nineteen Minutes (2007), Change of Heart (2008), Handle with Care (2009), House Rules (2010), Sing You Home (2011). She is also the author of Wonder Woman: Love and Murder (a collection of Wonder Woman #6-10). In 2003 she was awarded the New England Bookseller Award for Fiction.

She was born and raised —happily—on Long Island… something that she believed at first was a detriment to a girl who ...

... Full Biography
Author Interview
Link to Jodi Picoult's Website

Name Pronunciation
Jodi Picoult: jo-dee pee-coh

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