Inside the O’Briens is the fourth book by Lisa Genova, and quite possibly my favourite.
This story is about the O’Brien family, set in an Irish-Catholic suburb of Boston. This story is about Huntington’s Disease.
The family and setting jumped off the page, instantly pulling you in. The family is lively, the main character is magnetic and the story hooks you from the get-go.
And then the hammer drops, and you find out this hard working cop and father of four starts having symptoms that he can’t shake. And much debate he has some tests that finds himself face to face with Huntington’s.
This diagnosis devastates Joe and the family, especially his wife and high-school sweetheart, and their four kids. The results instantly point a target on each of them, as they now each have a 50/50 change of inheriting the gene that causes the disease.
Told from two points of view; Joe and his youngest daughter Katie, the book brought me to tears a few times as you follow their struggle with the decision to get tested. Genova has a beautiful and tender way of describing the horrors of this disease and the effects that has on Joe and his family. The book also touches on the theme that the past isn’t always what it seems.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. As Genova always does, she weaves all the intricacies of a horrible disease in such a human way, making you love each of these characters and rooting for a miracle.
A heart-breaking story bringing to light a horrific disease, wrapped in love and perspective.
Great book and I highly recommend it.