I finished Jodi Picoult's book, Handle With Care, over the past weekend, then read No One You Know by Michelle Richmond.
It took me quite a while to read Handle With Care. The main topic of the book was quite disturbing/distressing to me. The main story of the book is about a "wrongful birth" lawsuit that the mother of 6 year old Willow decides to pursue against her OB-GYN, who is also her best friend. Willow was born with "brittle bone" disease. The story is divided into chapters narrated by the mother, the father, the OB-GYN, the older sister, and the attorney handling the lawsuit, so you get several different takes on the whole thing. As you can imagine, many different themes of love, loss, friendship, etc. are presented. Right from the beginning of the book, I was bothered by the message that the lawsuit gave to the child: the premise of the lawsuit was that if the doctor had informed the mother early in her pregnancy that the child had the disease, the mother would have aborted the child. It did help that the child's father recognized the message and refused to have any part of the lawsuit. The mother's contention was that the money from the lawsuit would be needed to care for the Willow as she grows up, and after her parents are no longer around to care for her.
Meanwhile, the older sister begins to act out in her own adolescent way, with no one really noticing, because they are all caught up in the lawsuit. The parents are having serious marital issues because of their opposing views about the lawsuit. The mother and doctor are no longer speaking after years of being best friends. The attorney is dealing with her own adoption issues and trying to locate her birth mother. Many things going on in this book.
The book is very long, and, as I said, because of the subject, difficult to read, but I stuck with it, knowing that Ms. Picoult usually has endings that are totally unexpected and I was curious to see if that would be the case. It was. And I cried at the end. And I thought about the end of the book for days.
So then, I read No One You Know, by Michelle Richmond. I had read her earlier book, The Year of Fog, last year and liked it. I thought this book was better. It is about a woman whose sister was found murdered twenty years ago. The author did good job processing how the loss had affected the remaining sister over the years. It ends up that the sister runs into the prime suspect when she was in Nicaragua for a few weeks for work. After they talk, she begins to question his assumed involvement in her sister's death. She begins to investigate people that had been involved with her sister back then. I thought that the end of the book was wrapped up too conveniently and quickly, but all in all, it was a good, quick read.