Inside the O'Briens

Inside the O'Briens

A Novel

Book - 2015
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Aug 26, 2019

Tea & Talk Book Club / February 2017

Mar 24, 2019

I loved this book but the ending suggests a future book. Lisa Genova writes with such compassion and detail. Still Alice was one of my favourite books. She looks at the diagnosis and the disease and sees it from more than one point of view. Any disease affects the whole family not just the person who has it. I would highly recommend this book.

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.

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

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

Sep 17, 2016

For lovers of realistic fiction, this is a wonderful story of a family and their struggles with a frightening diagnosis. Genova's medical knowledge is impressive, and she's a wonderful writer as well.

Aug 31, 2016

I have yet to be disappointed by Lisa Genova. This is the story of a family's experience with Huntington's disease. It kept me interested throughout, with good characters, and I learned along the way. Recommended

Jul 03, 2016

I loved the family dynamics in this story and how each person in the family confronted this horrible disease. I'd never read anything by this author before but I came away from it feeling like I understood Huntington's Disease and how it affects not only the person with the disease but the people around them as well.

Apr 27, 2016

Quick read about a family who unknowingly have Huntington's disease. Joe was always told his mother drank herself to death but when he is diagnosed with HD he thinks back and realizes this is not true. Now his family must cope not only with his illness, which has physical and mental aspects, but each of the four adult children have a 50-50 chance of developing it and have the option of genetic testing to know for sure. A lot of readers were upset that Katie's genetic results are not revealed, however I thought that was ok. It think it showed that she had finally learned that she would not live her life too differently no matter the results. We all know our lives will end, people who know they will develop HD just know more details.

Mar 08, 2016

What a well-written story about this terrible disease. My neighbor recommended it because her son has the disease in the early stages and this book really explained well the emotional and physical toll it takes on not just the person who has it but the entire family.

loonylovesgood Mar 03, 2016

Like Still Alice, this was not a lighthearted read, but it was gripping nevertheless. Beware: there are some questions that remain unanswered at the end of the book.

Dec 05, 2015

Fantastic book.....Lisa Genova doesn't disappoint

Nov 26, 2015

Essentially same story as Still Alice - different disease. Nothing new added - read one or the other not both.

martins_mom Oct 27, 2015

A bit Jodi Picoultish, but an affecting and informed story about a family stricken by Huntington's disease. Genova knows how to write about people affected with serious medical problems who struggle with their situations in a very human way (she also wrote about Alzheimer's in Still Alice).

Oct 12, 2015

Lisa Genova does it again. She gives a clear picture of a family living with disease and how it affects the entire family. Well done.

Oct 02, 2015

Inside the O'Briens was well written and interesting. I was very disappointed to discover that the author had ended the story abruptly, leaving the reader up in the air and wanting to know how it turned out. No, I don't want to use my imagination and posit different scenarios. It's a work of fiction, for heaven's sake, so author, do your job and finish the story! For this reason I shan't be reading any more from this author.

Sep 22, 2015

This story will stay with me for a long time. A normal family lives are changed forever when father Joe is diagnosed with the fatal disease known as Huntingtons. This disease is hereditary, and the anguish of the family when the four adult siblings face the dilemma of taking the test which will tell them whether they too are a carrier of this deadly disease.

Aug 12, 2015

Genova tackles a serious issue for some of us - the chance of having Huntington's Disease if one of our parents has it. I thought this book was better written than 'Still Alice', which I found to be choppy and textbook in parts. Here she carries the story through two characters. Joe O'Brien is diagnosed and is horrified to learn his four children are also in jeopardy of developing HD. His youngest daughter lives in fear of being HD positive so delays her testing and learning her results. We see how each member of the family handles the news and the possibilities. The reactions of others around them, their wives, friends, employers, are pretty supportive, which I thought was a bit optimistic. I would have expected some distancing or withdrawal but there seems to be none of that. We are left at the end with more awareness of the condition and a sympathy for those who have to face it head on.

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