An online marketing consultant, an avid reader of 400 + books a year. Professional reader, reviewer, and blogger. Enjoy ARCs and new releases.
By Lisa Genova
Publisher: Gallery Books
Publication Date: 4/7/2015
Format: Other Format
My Rating: 5 Stars ++
One of my favorite authors, Lisa Genova, award-winning New York Times bestselling author, and neuroscientist is at the "top-of-her-game" with riveting, INSIDE THE O'BRIENS. An extraordinary story and one you will not soon forget, long after the book ends.
Meet the O’Briens. A strong Irish Catholic family in Charlestown, a neighborhood of Boston only one square mile between Charles and Mystic Rivers, divided into two neighborhoods. The Bottom of the Hill – the poor Irish and the Top of the Hill by St. Francis Church home to the Lace Curtain Irish. Many of the families live in tight rows of triple decker homes called Townies and they all know one another.
Joe and Rosie live on the first floor, son- twenty-three year old Patrick lives with them. JJ, the older son and his wife Colleen live on the second floor, and single daughters Katie and Meghan are roommates and live on the third floor, and of course lovable dog, Yaz. However, this happy family is about to have their world crushed, with news which will forever change their lives.
Father: Joe O’Brien, third generation, Irish. Police officer, a tough guy, age 43, dad of four, husband, loves his beer, family, work and his sports. His mother died of HD (except he just thought she was a drunk and crazy at the time). He is about to face the horrific disease. There is a fifty-percent chance it can passed along if the gene is present and it will not be pretty. What will happen if he can no longer be the strong one of the family?
Mother: Rosie, wife and mother of four, loves her weekly family Sunday suppers. She is a devoted Irish Catholic - religious. All her children still reside in the family home on different floors and would do anything for her family, but do not be late for Sunday supper. Can she survive being the caretaker and watch her family fall apart in front of her? Will her strong faith be tested?
JJ: Son, A firefighter, and husband to Coleen, a devoted man and expecting a child on the way. Will his future be secure or will he have the gene? What about this family?
Megan: Daughter. Beautiful and talented professional ballet dancer with the Boston Ballet with a rigorous schedule. A hard worker and Katie is quite envious of her. She is full of life. Could this disease get to her?
Katie: Daughter. Teaches yoga, the baby girl, and feels a little left out and not quite as smart as her older sister; always living in her shadow. She would love to move away from this town, meet a guy, and have her own yoga studio; however, she barely makes enough to survive. She loves her job and loves her inspiratinal quotes written all over her walls – and now she has a love interest she is keeping from the family. Could she have the disease? If so, does she want to know and how will it change her relationship and future?
Patrick: Son. Young, single, wild and crazy. A bartender at the local pub, stays out all night partying, dates around, and not very dependable (however, keeps lively humor going in the family). He is always late to family supper, but charming in his own way. He definitely does not want to have the test to see if he has the HD gene (he would rather jump off a bridge).
An emotional, and compelling story of a family wrecked by HD. From the fears, pain, denial, sadness to love, coping, escape, to acceptance. The scene with Katie and Joe was award-winning the way she took control and gave her dad the most important message of love to keep him strong as a role model for them all – and the yoga interaction was priceless! (Loved the t-shirts, and the humor mixed with the tragedy, to keep you smiling and crying at the same time).
An engaging thought-provoking story, a page-turner which grips you from beginning to end. No one can tell it like, Lisa Genova. Thank you for telling this incredible story. On a personal note, I dated a guy several years ago in Atlanta and his father had HD. I saw firsthand, the devastation and destruction, both emotional and physical which wrecked havoc on everyone in the family and loved ones—heartbreaking.
Genova tackles highly charged HD-Huntington's Disease with love, compassion, incredible insights, understanding, emotion, research, compassion, and humor.
Call to Action: In addition to creating compassionate awareness of the disease HD, Lisa has created a call to action, by requesting every reader to make a donation to the HD Human Biology Project, an innovative research project aimed at understanding the biology of Huntington’s which is necessary for discovering the course. Together we can be part of the progress that will lead to the cure of one of the cruelest diseases known to man, and currently no treatment and no cure.
If you loved Still Alice, Left Neglected, and Love Anthony; Inside the O'Briens (have read all of her books), tops the chart and will exceed all your expectations! Highly recommend! If you have not read Genova' previous books, you are missing out.
Would love to be a visitor for the O'Briens' Sunday night weekly suppers-what a strong family bond.