Sunday, April 28, 2013

Handle With Care by Jodi Picoult

This is one of those stories where you feel that no one, no matter what the outcome, can come out the winner. A couple’s daughter is born with a rare disease, Osteogenesis Imperfecta, which makes her bones so brittle that they break with the least exertion. Their obstetrician, who failed to diagnose the condition before the child was born, in time for them to consider terminating the pregnancy, is the wife’s best friend.

After they are arrested on a false charge of child abuse, because their daughter slips on a napkin and breaks both femurs during a Disneyland vacation, they obtain an attorney who suggests a wrongful birth suit, to sue their obstetrician/friend for money to provide for their daughter’s life-long special needs.

This book gives a realistic picture of a family under terrible strain, caring for a special needs child, their eldest daughter feels neglected, always overshadowed by her sister’s medical emergencies, and develops an eating disorder and starts cutting herself, and the lawsuit makes things even worse. It’s a case where a victory won’t mean a happy ending.

Though it may seem bizarrely out of place in this review, I would also like to mention that there are many delicious recipes included in this book. The mother in the story is an accomplished pastry chef who gave up her career and dreams of having her own bakery to care for her child.

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