Inside the O'Briens

Inside the O'Briens

A Novel

eBook - 2015
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A New York Times bestseller ▪ A Library Journal Best Books of 2015 Pick ▪ A St. Louis Post-Dispatch Best Books of 2015 Pick ▪A GoodReads Top Ten Fiction Book of 2015 ▪ A People Magazine Great Read

From New York Times bestselling author and neuroscientist Lisa Genova comes a "heartbreaking...very human novel" (Matthew Thomas, author of We Are Not Ourselves) that does for Huntington's disease what her debut novel Still Alice did for Alzheimer's.
Joe O'Brien is a forty-three-year-old police officer from the Irish Catholic neighborhood of Charlestown, Massachusetts. A devoted husband, proud father of four children in their twenties, and respected officer, Joe begins experiencing bouts of disorganized thinking, uncharacteristic temper outbursts, and strange, involuntary movements. He initially attributes these episodes to the stress of his job, but as these symptoms worsen, he agrees to see a neurologist and is handed a diagnosis that will change his and his family's lives forever: Huntington's disease.

Huntington's is a lethal neurodegenerative disease with no treatment and no cure, and each of Joe's four children has a 50 percent chance of inheriting their father's disease. While watching her potential future in her father's escalating symptoms, twenty-one-year-old daughter Katie struggles with the questions this test imposes on her young adult life. As Joe's symptoms worsen and he's eventually stripped of his badge and more, Joe struggles to maintain hope and a sense of purpose, while Katie and her siblings must find the courage to either live a life "at risk" or learn their fate.

Praised for writing that "explores the resilience of the human spirit" (San Francisco Chronicle), Lisa Genova has once again delivered a novel as powerful and unforgettable as the human insights at its core.

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c
ClaireG_1
Mar 28, 2020

Another thoughtful and heartwrenching book by Lisa Genova. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. "Still Alice" is still my favourite book by her, though.

o
OP_2
Aug 26, 2019

Tea & Talk Book Club / February 2017

s
Suelogeman
Mar 24, 2019

I loved this book but the ending suggests a future book. Lisa Genova writes with such compassion and detail. Still Alice was one of my favourite books. She looks at the diagnosis and the disease and sees it from more than one point of view. Any disease affects the whole family not just the person who has it. I would highly recommend this book.

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firefly5
Oct 08, 2018

A very well written story about a terrible disease. I loved the O'Briens as a family. Everyone was so real I felt as though I knew them personally. Reading this book there were passages that were laugh out loud funny, and other parts that had tears running down my cheeks. Sometimes even doing both laughing and crying at the same time. I loved Katie, the youngest O'Brien and really enjoyed the part where she introduces Felix to her family. This was a terrific book, a wonderful education as well as a heartbreaking look at Huntington's Disease.

Raw and real. This novel explores the diagnosis of a terminal disease on a hard-working family and the fall out that ensues. Heartbreaking but at the same time hopeful as to what the human spirit can endure. The author is able to write human emotion in such an honest and gut-wrenching way. She did characterize the Catholic faith as Hollywood usually does, all statues and commandments but it works inside the walls of the O'Brien family, an Irish Catholic/Boston generation. Inside the O'Briens is as good as "Still Alice" kudos to Genova for getting it right again. ...the suffering and the joy of life.
NF

n
natcin7
Jun 20, 2018

May 13 2015
Lisa Genova, the acclaimed best-selling author of "Still Alice," has done it again. In this novel she explores the ramifications of a diagnosis of Huntington's disease on a close-knit Irish, Catholic family living in Charlestown, a Boston neighborhood in the shadow of the Bunker Hill Monument. Joe is a devoted husband and father and a Boston cop. When he begins to exhibit tics and other neurological signs that something is wrong, he is told he has Huntington's disease. It is fatal and there is no cure. And, furthermore, each of his four children has a 50/50 chance of inheriting the disease. What Ms. Genova does in this novel is truly remarkable. Without being too clinical she delves deep "Inside the O'Briens" to bring to life the characters' hopes and fears. The reader gets to feel first-hand the impact that this disease has on a family. Her characterizations ring true and we are truly inspired by this family. They have learned to accept their fate with dignity and to live in the moment with love and gratitude. They decide to live their lives in the Now and Here or they will be Nowhere. You just have to root for the O'Briens! NC

m
mopaco
May 23, 2018

Thoroughly enjoyed this book. It's about a family finding strength when faced with a cruel disease. I lived in Boston and the essence of the city is captured brilliantly. Read in in three days; easy read - page turner.

JCLColleenO Jul 06, 2017

Joe O'Brien is an officer for the Boston Police Department, husband to Rosie, and father to four offspring when he finds out the most devastating news of his life. He's gene positive for Huntington's Disease. After a few too many mishaps, sporadic movements, and out of character rampages, he is convinced by his wife to seek help. Joe becomes someone who is unable to control his movements, thinking, and behavior. His cognitive and motor skills will continue to decline until his untimely death. What's worse is that there is a 50% chance of passing this along to his children, and the children struggle with whether they want to take the test to find out. Inside the O'Briens explore how one Irish Catholic family tries to hold it all together while things seemingly fall apart. I loved reading about this family.

j
JoSandra
May 02, 2017

Good read by author of "Still Alice". Explores effects of H.D. on a contemporary Boston Family. Seems to be part of a new genre of "DNA" themed stories, like Still Alice, Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, etc.

WCLSBlaineLibrary Mar 16, 2017

A rich study in how each individual family member deals with a shocking diagnosis of an hereditary disease. Will he/she be tested? Then want to know the result? How do they cope with the distress of watching their husband and father deteriorate before their eyes? ~Debby

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angrichards
Aug 23, 2015

A cop learns that he has Huntington's disease. He has to deal with his changing body as well as the fact that he may have passed the disease on to his grown children.
I absolutely LOVE Lisa Genova's novels and this one definitely doesn't disappoint!!

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vv8
Jun 10, 2015

Coarse Language: profanity throughout

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