Thursday, April 7, 2016

Inside the O'Briens

Joe O’Brien lives with his family in Charlestown, MA. It is a small, old fashioned, mostly Catholic town and their lives revolve around the church, the sports, the bars and family. At just 44 years old Joe already dreams of putting in the rest of his days as a Boston police officer and having the nice retirement Rosey and he long deserve. Joe begins to experience very minor, manageable but distinct symptoms of something he cannot put his finger on. When Rosey insists he sees a doctor they are faced with a life changing diagnosis. Joe is suffering from a genetic disease called Huntington’s Disease or as they refer to it: HD. There is no treatment, there is no cure and there is a 50% chance one or all of his four children may carry the gene for this fatal neurodegenerative disease. As the news hits his family they each handle it in a different and meaningful way. Like author Lisa Genova’s other best sellers touching on neurologic diseases, it is hard to say “I loved it” or “It was fabulous” when it was heartbreaking, tearful and way too real to face our fragile mortality head on. But when the writing is as beautifully simple as Ms. Genova’s, you are immediately pulled into the lives of these characters so deeply that you better have the box of tissues ready. Highly recommend this enlightening, tender story of an average family going through extraordinary circumstances.

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