Published in 2009. 477 pages.
Just over two years ago, I read my first Jodi Picoult novel, My Sister's Keeper. Since then I've read twelve others - there are just three still on my to-read list - and I was eager to read her latest novel, Handle with Care. Here's the book trailer:
Handle with Care has all the things I love about Picoult's work: thought-provoking, even controversial topics, alternating points of view, and the use of symbolism. (The symbolism in this case primarily comes through the discussion of various aspects of baking - such as folding, tempering, and weeping - as ten recipes are inserted throughout the book.)
Unfortunately, Handle with Care just didn't quite do it for me. I was distracted by the way that each character told his or her story to the daughter Willow. While I understand that the technique is intended to put me, as the reader, in Willow's place (as "you"), I often found it to result in awkward constructions or revelations. This novel also reminded me a lot of My Sister's Keeper, so in some ways I felt like "been there, done that." I am not unhappy that I spent most of my "free time" this week reading Handle with Care, but this one won't be near the top of my Picoult favorites list.
Picoult's website has book club discussion questions (be forewarned, though, because there are lots of spoilers!) as well as information about Osteogenesis Imperfecta.