Inside the O'Briens

Inside the O'Briens

Book - 2015 | First Gallery Books trade paperback edition
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A Library Journa l 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 award-winning, 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" ( The San Francisco Chronicle ), Lisa Genova has once again delivered a novel as powerful and unforgettable as the human insights at its core.
Publisher: New York : Gallery Books, 2015
Edition: First Gallery Books trade paperback edition
ISBN: 9781476717791
Branch Call Number: FIC Geno
Characteristics: 343 pages ; 21 cm

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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

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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

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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.

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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.

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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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MHanover10
Mar 16, 2017

This is a really heart wrenching book to read. Huntington's disease is such a horrible disease the way it attacks the body and the person has no control over what is happening. It also hits so young. There is so little known about the disease especially since so few people have it, that no one understands the person walking down the street like they are drunk really aren't drunk. The fact that you lose the ability to speak and even swallow is so sad. The sadness that this is hereditary and can take out an entire family. This book is so well written. Lisa makes you care for the entire family. Some are a little frustrating and you want to smack them on the back of the head and some you want to hug. The way Joe handles his illness is wonderful. At first you see the shame and then he embraces it. I think this book is going to stay with me for a very like time, just like Still Alice has. If you liked Still Alice then you must read this book. It will open your eyes, break your heart and also warm your heart with how close knit the O'Brien family is.

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susan_findlay
Feb 10, 2017

Compelling story of a family dealing with Huntington's disease in multiple generation: from the protagonist experiencing symptoms and getting diagnosed to his realization that his mother had it to his children choosing whether or not to get tested for the gene. We get into the heads of both father and his youngest daughter, and Genova does a great job of making you care about the characters.

There was one writing choice that frustrated me, but I can see why the choice was made so I'm not docking any stars for it.

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star13fire
Jan 15, 2017

I've read Still Alice, Left Neglected and Inside the O'Brien's. Inside the O'Brien's is definitely the strongest story. This is the one that I will re-read at a slower pace. The novel is so gripping that I raced through it the first time through. Lisa Genova has a definite gift for writing. All the stories had the capability of the being "real downers" because of the subject matter. But because of the way she portrays the humanity of the characters, they are uplifting.

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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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