Book Review: ‘Inside the O’Briens’

New York Times bestselling author Lisa Genova is at it again with a new novel that explores Huntington’s disease, “Inside the O’Briens,” coming out April 7.

Joe O’Brien, a 44-year-old police officer and caring father of four, begins to experience episodes of temper and involuntary movements. Such actions worry his wife, so he goes to the doctor for testing and finds out he has Huntington’s disease.

To make matters worse, there is no treatment for this disease, and each of his children have a 50 percent chance of inheriting it. Meanwhile, Katie, one of his daughters, decides whether she wishes to take a blood test to learn if she has inherited it.

I could find a little bit of myself in everyone, from Joe the cop, to Meg the ballerina, to Katie the yogi. Being able to relate to every character within the novel makes the impact even heavier because the reader realizes the disease could hit any  character. No one but the mom was safe from this disease and even she suffered the consequences of it.

Photo courtesy of cloudfront.net

Photo courtesy of cloudfront.net

Lisa Genova obviously did a lot of research. I read the acknowledgments and there were so many people involved. For this, I applaud her. It makes me feel as though it’s not just a piece of fiction, but a piece of each of these people that has been immortalized within this book. In my eyes, characters also helped make the book gain credibility.

This book kept me up multiple nights in a row, thinking about what would I do if this happened to me. For the most part, Genova demonstrated such raw emotions, the reader cannot help but get emotionally involved in the characters. This was not always consistent and some points could have been more emotional with a little more tweaking.

With just this one flaw, a very high four out of five stars is what I rate “Inside the O’Briens.”

 

Jenna Koslowski

Contributor

jkosl669@uwsp.edu

Thanks to Gallery Books and NetGallery for sending an advanced copy for review.

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