Friday, May 27, 2016

"Inside the O'Briens" by Lisa Genova (Effects of Huntington's Disease)

Inside the O'Briens by Lisa Genova is about a Catholic Irish family living in Boston.  Joe, a cop, loves his wife, Rosie and his four grown children but starts acting strange.  He is diagnosed with Huntington's Disease (HD) but still tries to do his job without telling anyone.  When he is told it is a genetic disease, he is afraid for his children. 

I finally decided to read this book because my husband kept saying how good it was.  Inside the O'Briens informs the reader about HD through the life of Joe and his family.  We see how it doesn't just affect the person who has the disease, but everyone around him.  I liked Joe and felt sorry for him and his wife, and his son JJ the firefighter and his family; however, I did not care for the other three children much at all.

There is a blood test that can be done to see if a person has HD even before the symptoms show up so the big question in the book for the children is if they want to know.  It is thought-provoking because the reader can't help but question what they would do in this situation.  Would you want to know if you were going to have this disease in your future?  I don't think I would want to know ahead unless I was thinking about having a baby.

I did not care for the rough language throughout the book, nor for the lifestyles of Patrick and Katie which caused me not to like these characters, two of his grown children.  My husband loved this book, but I found it to be sad, depressing and was very disappointed in the ending that left me hanging.  I liked this author's other books much better:  Still Alice and Left Neglected.
(Karen's review, 2 stars)

See also my blog post inspired by this book:  Just sayin' We Should be Humane to Humans Too! 

Gerard's review 4/24/15, 5++ stars:
Inside the O'Briens by Lisa Genova is about Joe, a Boston policeman.  He has been having some health issues and his wife wants him to see a doctor.  He thinks it is nothing, but agrees to go.  It turns out he has Huntington Disease!  You find out all about it when you read this book--trust me, you do not want this disease!  Not only that, but his kids are at risk of getting it too.

Lisa Genova's books are always top notch and this is no exception.  I loved the interaction between Joe and his wife and kids.  This book had me from page 1.  Make sure you read the "Call to Action" part of this book as well.  The ending is perfect!  I LOVED this book and highly recommend it and her other book too:  Still Alice and Left Neglected.

Have you read this one? What did you think of it? If you reviewed this too, feel free to share your link to your review in the comments. Happy Reading!


  1. I got this one out from the library yesterday and am looking forward to it, as I have enjoyed all of her other books. Glad you enjoyed it.

    Julie Q

  2. I read this book and enjoyed it. I knew a girl in a similar situation years ago, after her dad died form Huntingtons. If I were in her position I would want to know, as it was driving her mad deciding whether to have the test or not. Such a sad horrible disease.


Thanks for commenting and happy reading!

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