Customer Reviews for

Handle with Care: A Novel

Average Rating 4
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

41 out of 43 people found this review helpful.

Realism is a good thing

As a person with multiple disabilities--a "disabled person"--I have so much more respect for authors who tell it like it is, rather than glossing over the realities. I *am* dependant on my mother: at 24, I live in her house, paying no rent and contributing nothing finan...
As a person with multiple disabilities--a "disabled person"--I have so much more respect for authors who tell it like it is, rather than glossing over the realities. I *am* dependant on my mother: at 24, I live in her house, paying no rent and contributing nothing financially to the household, and that situation is likely to stay that way for the foreseeable future. Even if I eventually get "out on my own" it'll likely be on her dollar; full independence is not something I expect ever to have. I'm also a burden to her, financially, of course, but also emotionally: I get hospitalized at least once a year--which is hard for her both because she's scared for me, and because she nearly kills herself trying to be there for me while working and taking care of her elderly mother--and also, I know that she hurts every time there's something I want to do that I can't. Whether it's going to school, or working, or even going out with friends, when I fail, it hurts my mom like I don't think anything else can. I know this. A person, even a child, knows these things, even if no one uses specific words to describe them.

That's why I applaud Ms. Picoult for writing stories that take place in the real world, in my real world. I'm sick of books where, at the end, the new treatment is found, or the child miraculously recovers. I'm sure it happens sometimes, and that's great, but it doesn't ring true to me. I want to read about people I can relate to. Would my mother have aborted me if she'd know what I was going to be like? I don't know. But I do know that she hurts for me every day, and that if someone told her she'd give birth to a child who suffered as I do, she would have thought long and hard about her options. That doesn't mean she doesn't love me. It means she loves me enough to hate how much I hurt. The idea of a mother, going to court to get money to help her child...my mom's not rich. And it is a huge struggle for her to pay for my care. If there was someone who could have told her I'd suffer this way 25 years ago...this book is real. It's about real people, real questions, and real struggles. You don't have to like it. But don't tell me what disabled people think, or feel, and don't tell me that Ms. Picoult's book, rather than your narrow-minded opinions, hurt me.

By the way: for someone so concerned with what "disabled people" think and feel: we mostly stopped calling ourselves that years ago. Just for your information.

posted by TheLitChick on March 2, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

12 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

I FEEL CHEATED

Cheating: when you use Ragu from a jar because you're too dilatory or you have too little time to make something fresh.

This is how I felt about Jodi Picoult's latest book, Handle With Care. Instead of getting the extraordinary, thought provoking, family drama I wa...
Cheating: when you use Ragu from a jar because you're too dilatory or you have too little time to make something fresh.

This is how I felt about Jodi Picoult's latest book, Handle With Care. Instead of getting the extraordinary, thought provoking, family drama I was hoping for, I just got a carbon copy of My Sister's Keeper. Same tigress of a mother, fighting for the sick kid. Dad's a cop not a firefighter, wow that's original. The ignored teen sibling is a klepto, bulimic, cutter instead of a pyromaniac. Even the lawyers are parallel. And if you have to use a different font to differentiate your first person points of view it might be a sign that you're voices are all too similar. As for the ending, that was just too cheap for words. What worked in My Sister's Keeper, just felt like the worst kind of betrayal in this book.

And how about a little research? Or better yet, where were the editors. Did anyone at Simon and Schuster even read this before putting it out there for us to spend 30.00 bucks on? How can you be so renowned for your research and then write a book about a child with brittle bones and not know that the tibia and fibula are in the lower leg, not the lower arm? I'll even let the ignorance of orangutan anatomy go, but come on, even kindergarteners know that orangutan's don't have tails.

Maybe she should take a little more time with her next book and come up with something more original. I know she has it in her.

posted by mgill0627 on August 20, 2009

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