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Inside the O'Briens Bets On...

Inside the O'Briens

April 2015

Many of you, like me, discovered Lisa Genova with STILL ALICE back in 2009. It was a Bets On selection, as were her later titles, LEFT NEGLECTED and LOVE ANTHONY, making her the first author to have three books noted as Bets On picks. She breaks another record now as INSIDE THE O’BRIENS receives the same honor. While each of these novels has been so well done, INSIDE THE O’BRIENS is tied with me for her best book.

I have been talking about this book for months since I read an advance copy; when you read it, you will see why. Lisa does an absolutely brilliant job of looking at the effects of Huntington’s disease on one family. When 44-year-old Joe O’Brien begins experiencing bouts of disorganized thinking, temper outbursts and involuntary movements, he attributes his symptoms to the stress of his job as a police officer. As they worsen, however, he agrees to see a neurologist and is met with a life-changing diagnosis: Huntington’s disease. Even worse, each of his four grown children has a 50 percent chance of inheriting the disease, although a simple test can reveal their fates.

The characters touched me enormously, and since then, I have given much thought to them and to what I had learned about Huntington’s and its impact on the lives of families. At the end of the book, Lisa has come up with a brilliant way to illustrate the number of victims of Huntington’s and how readers can help lend their support.

Book groups, take note: You want to line this up for discussion! There are so many angles to look at!

Inside the O'Briens
by Lisa Genova

  • Publication Date: January 5, 2016
  • Genres: Fiction, Women's Fiction
  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Gallery Books
  • ISBN-10: 1476717796
  • ISBN-13: 9781476717791