I have always been amazed by the way Ms. Picoult deals with moral situations in her books. I can almost imagine the strain on a writer. From Nineteen Minutes (a mother ponders over what her son did) to My Sister’s Keeper (the mother-daughter relationships), every novel has this capacity to catch you unaware and punch you in the face – it is that strong.
But all the care in the world cannot save the people we love…Handle with Care starts off on this premise. It is about a family (as is the case in all her books) dealing with their youngest daughter’s condition of osteogenesis imperfecta which can easily cause brittle and broken bones. Her mother wants her to leave her a legacy of something which will not bend or break – the case in point her name, Willow. Weeping Willows – I loved the use of the metaphor and yet it is Willow that shines throughout the book with her strength and love for all things natural.
I will not give away too many details of this book, but yes this book goes far beyond a family coping with a disease. Like in “My Sister’s Keeper”, we see sibling jealousy here as well, with one normal daughter and the other Willow – who needs to be handled with care, the attention all going to one sibling. And yet at the end of it all, they are sisters.
The book goes back and forth in time and told from various people’s perspectives. It is about the lies we catch ourselves telling, the truths we are determined to hide – in case something better might come of it. It is about the bonds we forge and the ones we break to protect our loved ones. It is a rollercoaster of a ride and may I add that every goosebump, that every butterfly in the stomach feeling and every emotion you will know while reading this book, will be worth it.