From award-winning, New York Times best-selling author Lisa Genova comes a powerful new novel that does for Huntington's disease what her debut Still Alice did for Alzheimer's.
Joe O'Brien is a 44-year-old Boston police officer from the Irish Catholic neighborhood of Charlestown, Massachusetts. A devoted husband, a proud father of four children in their 20s, and a respected, seasoned law enforcement officer, Joe begins experiencing bouts of disorganized thinking, uncharacteristic temper outbursts, and strange, involuntary movements. He initially attributes these episodes to aging and the cumulative physical and psychological stress of his job, but as these symptoms worsen, he agrees to see a neurologist and is handed a diagnosis that will change his and his family's lives forever: Huntington's disease.
Huntington's is a lethal neurodegenerative disease with no treatment and no cure. And it is genetic. Each of Joe's four children has a 50 percent chance of inheriting their father's disease, and a simple blood test can reveal their genetic fate. While watching their potential futures in their father's escalating symptoms, the children struggle with the questions this test imposes on their young adult lives, including his youngest, 21-year-old Katie. Does she want to know? What if she's gene positive? Can she live with the constant anxiety of not knowing?
As Joe's symptoms worsen, and he's eventually stripped of his badge and more, he struggles to maintain his identity and sense of purpose. How can he find hope in a situation that feels hopeless? How can he find courage without any armor or weapons? What else might he be able to pass down to his children other than a fatal disease? Where is the honor in living and dying with Huntington's?
©2015 Lisa Genova (P)2015 Simon & Schuster
"Skipp Sudduth's performance of Genova's exploration of Huntington's disease makes the science of this inherited, incurable, degenerative nerve disease very personal.... Sudduth's no-nonsense delivery and unemotional handling of this highly emotional subject are exactly right.... Clear-eyed and heartrending, this is top-notch listening." (AudioFile)
Good story well told although a bit repetitive. More consideration of Rosie's experience and feelings would have rounded it out. Well read.
"As a person at risk for HD"
This book is beautifully written, and provides a great easy to understand explanation of Huntington's disease. It accurately portrays the difficulties families with Huntington's go through. It closely parallels my own experiences. At times it was difficult for me to listen to, because of the difficult subject, but that's exactly what a good book should do, get you involved and makes you feel. The narrator was excellent and I cannot think of a better choice.
"Such an amazing family story"
so wonderfully moving
i haven't read a book that made me want feel the characters pain and hopes and fears so clearly. I'm spoiled now this book was amazing!
His voice is perfect as the Boston cop and the daughter. You are them while you listen to him
no, there where many.
I've recommend this book to so many people and am looking forward to reading the author's other books
I really liked the book. However, I did not approve of the author's ending.
I thought it needed to carry the individual stories further along.
"Great book, great narration"
I loved everything about this heartbreaking novel. A sad story told authentically with humor and hope. I'm a big fan of Lisa Genova's wok and this is perhaps her best. At least on par with Still Alice.
Still Alice. The reader learns a lot about the disease through a well told fiction story. The characters are believable and lovable. Real people with tragic stories.
Joe. Sudduth nailed him. Tough Irish Catholic Boston cop. Perfect narrator for this story
This was a really great book. I'm sad to finished with it
Heartbreaking, enlightening, rewarding. This book will inspire, pull at your heartstrings and make you want to hug your family and thank God for His blessings. I found myself laughing through my tears. Great narration.
Great book - cant say i liked the ending- hit home few times, had to stop reading. Hopefully it helps people learn about H D
"I wanted to love this but"
Still Alice is the reason I read this book. It resonated with me for days, weeks and months and I was so looking forward to being taken on a similar ride. Unfortunately this book just doesn't get there. I think that the disappointment stems from the lack of any real story. Sure we get the family and the heartbreak and an insight into the disease but none of the characters progress past superficiality. I think that the author just skimmed the surface of too many family members and we were left with a colourless glimpse of their journey.
The most frustrating part of this book is of course the ending. I understand the author not wanting to spell it all out but we are so far from the end of any of these characters story that I felt cheated. If only Lisa had taken us right to the end- tackled the HD death, I would have felt it was worth the read.
Sorry but this book is completely forgettable.
"Another great book by Lisa Genova"
This was a well written (and well narrated) book about a tragic disease taking hold of a family in Boston. Lisa Genova does her research and depicts the families battle in a heartfelt and sometimes humorous way. I would highly recommend this book!
"Genova Does It Again- Brings Awareness"
The first time I read 'Still Alice' by Lisa Genova, I was hooked on her style of writing. She takes ordinary people and makes ordinary readers feel their experiences. Still Alice was the story of Alice who had early onset Alzheimer's. Then, Lisa wrote a book called 'Left Neglected' which was about a woman who had a condition where she could no longer use the left side of her body. 'Inside the O'Briens' is a very gritty and honest story about a family who's patriarch develops Huntington's Disease, and how they react to it.
Genova brings awareness with her writing. Although she writes fiction, she chooses subjects that aren't necessary often talked about and she sends a message. She lets the reader feel what it's like to have a rare disease and how those millions of people who suffer from these illnesses deal with them. She has us involved from the minute the person discovers that there is something wrong, through the part where they accept it, tell their family, and live with it. It should be noted that even if it may sound impossible, Genova delivers her prose with a brilliant sense of humour. She reminds us that sometimes- there is just nothing left to do but laugh.
Joe O'Brien has been a cop in Boston his whole adult life. When weird things start to happen to his body, like his shoulders start to shrug on the drill deck or he starts flinging his food halfway across the room- or when he has terrible tantrums and knocks holes in the walls- he and his wife go to the doctor to figure out if there is something wrong. When the diagnoses is Huntington's Disease, and Joe is told that he will eventually die while he slowly deteriorates, he is most astounded and upset that each of his four children have a 50/50 chance of inheriting the disease.
The narration is excellent. Skipp Sudduth is the perfect choice for the story of a man who is tough, yet soft with his family. The story is tragic, yet beautiful at the same time.
I love Lisa Genova, she is a fabulous writer and I look forward to her delivering more poignant stories that stick with me and make me empathize and realize how beautiful life can be.
I loved this book. A friend's son became symptomatic of HD at 18. When everyone else moved on to independence or college, he could not. I grieve for this sweet boy and his family. Smart, likeable, and promising, it all fell apart. I appreciated learning more about HD and came to feel for this family as well. Excellent story and narration. Ten stars.
"Heartbreaking - family life & Huntington's Disease"
Beautifully and painfully described family life coming to terms with the tragedy of Huntington's Disease. I found it both highly informative and the characters well drawn. Highly recommend this audio book.
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