This book was a joy to listen to. The author provides different perspectives on how family life is effected by a seriously ill child. When everything revolves around the sick one, the other children must make do with the remains. The choices this situation presents are difficult for all, yet they have to be made.
I think anyone who has a chronically ill or disabled family member, parent or child, will appreciate this story.
This book had several narrators and all were excellent. The variety and quality of the narration enhanced the story and make this book a real gem.
There was not one thing about this book that I did not love. I devoured it; everything else almost came to a halt except for the mindless things one can do while listening to a terrific book. All the characters came alive, their feelings, hopes and fears; the ability to access the ethical questions from all points of view. I will also say the ending did NOT disappoint me or in any weaken this thought provoking story.
Let me begin by saying that I was really hoping this was a true story since I'd love to hear from a child who was conceived to save a sibling. Apparently it's not a true story, but ultimately that does not detract from its appeal. The pace of the book is very good. It was interesting and unpredictable enough to keep my attention all the way through. The characters are well-developed and the narration by different characters feels like different points of view. It did not move my world and the writing was not flawless or particularly beautiful, so I did not give it 5 stars, but it is quite enjoyable and I recommend it to anyone who finds the premise interesting.
Old Fart 1960 (some day....)
I was very disappointed in this book. It reads like a cheap, totally predictable story with one of the lamest endings I have ever encountered. Was not worth my time. I don't know why I stuck with it. I guess I was hoping something better would develop but it never did. The use of different voices for the different characters was the best part about the book. I could find no fault with the cast reading the story: maybe this is why I finished the book.
This is a thought-provoking story, and well-researched. I liked the way the author paints all the characters in very human shades of gray--there is no white knight or "right" answer here. The parents that have a baby to get a donor are entirely understandable; the baby sister who has had enough is entirely understandable. Even the characters that are less central to the plot have depth and quirks. The use of multiple reader voices for the many characters is a great idea that helps you keep track of who's talking. Picoult has one distracting tendency as a writer--she simply cannot use the verb "said" as in "she said"--it's always something like "she clarified" or "she comforted". But that's a minor quibble in a story that more than held my interest and made me care about the characters.
I truly enjoyed this book. Each character had a different narrator, which made them real, and you definitely become connected to them. The book makes you see all sides of a very difficult situation. I found the book to be very moving and thought-provoking long after it was over. Definitely a must "listen".
Very interesting premise for a story. The author did a great job with the medical presentation. However, the characters are so two dimensional, especially Campbell, the book begins to feel like a soap opera. The lines written for the characters have the feel that someone wrote them, not that someone actually said them.
I found the premise interesting, but the dialog of the children was a bit unrealistic and the pace of the book seemed to drag. I kept wanting to get to the heart of the story. Instead, I had to wade through the author force feeding me compassion and medical jargon--I felt sorry for them the first three chapters so there is no need to rehash it over and over. The ending had promise but could have been simplified.
What a remarkable story. It was hard not to put myself in the Fitzgerald's position. The writing and narration are such a powerful combination, drawing you in and just keeping you there throughout the entire story. I'm off to pick up more Jodi Picoult stories now! I can only repeat what's been said countless times...."Read this book!"