About This Blog

This blog was started as a place to post book reviews. The books reviewed here will be mixed. Science Fiction, Fantasy, Romance, General Fiction, NonFiction and more. Both positve and negative reviews will be posted, as well as reviews for books written for all ages and all reading levels.

Many of the books reviewed here are ones that I have purchased for my own reading pleasure. Some, I receive free in exchange for reviews. Beginning in December, 2009 you will know which are the free ones if you read the final paragraph of my reviews.

Also of note: I choose what I will read, attempting to avoid the books on which I would end up writing a negative review... but I have been known to make mistakes. Thus you see some one and two star reviews here. Since I don't enjoy writing negative reviews, I only write them if the review was promised, or if the book was so exceedingly bad, I just had to say so. Regardless of the percentage of positive to negative reviews on this blog, I give my honest opinion each and every time, and have never received financial compensation for posting my reviews.

Note that, except for fair use portions quoted from some of the books reviewed, all copyright in the content of the reviews belongs to Lady Dragoness.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Ominous Sensations

Handle with Care
Jodi Picoult
Atria (2009)
Hardcover, 496 pages
Rated 4 stars of 5 possible

Jodi Picoult is good at choosing hot topics - aka controversial issues to write about. Handle With Care is no exception. This novel serves to raise awareness of a rare and often fatal disease called Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI), in which the child is born with bones so brittle they will break, even when circumstances are otherwise normal.  In reading through this novel, one finds there are several different types of this disease, two of which can be detected before the child is born. One of those two types is fatal; the other is described in this story.

The characterization is good. However, I really wanted to slap some sense into the parents, who seemed so involved with the younger daughter's illness that they were not paying enough attention to the needs of the older daughter.  The mother, especially, seemed self-centered and a bit aloof, especially when she started thinking about compensation for the young daugher's illness.

Most of the chapters were written in second person, past tense and the point of view rotated among the characters other than the girl with OI. The second person vantage point gave the story an ominous feel that made the ending appropriate and not completely unexpected. Nevertheless, that ending is not the sort of ending I would have preferred.

Scattered throughout the book, the reader finds recipes for pastries and desserts.  These recipes relate to the story in two ways; First and foremost, the mother is former pastry chef, who gave up her job to take care of the younger daughter. Secondarily, some of the culinary terms highlighted in the recipes bear a symbolic relationship to the chapters in which the recipes are found. This relationship is often subtle and the reader may not immediately recognize it.

Recommended reading for those who like this author's work.

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