Book Review

Inside the O’Briens


Lisa Genova’s earlier book, Still Alice is about Alzheimer’s disease. This new one is about Huntington’s, specifically as it affects the family of a Boston cop who slowly but inexorably develops the symptoms and becomes disabled.

Huntington’s is a family disease, passed genetically from generation to generation. So when one member is diagnosed, the others are deeply and permanently affected. This is a novel steeped in fact and beautifully written. Each family member is interesting, handling the HD scourge in a different way. There are times when the plethora of information on the disease made the book feel more like a Public Service Announcement than a novel, but the general cause was worth it. It’s a painful read. But solid.

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