A couple weeks ago while I was having a girl getaway with UberCoach in Ladysmith I finished Jodi Picoult's Handle With Care. Part of me is disappointed with myself for not having the units of self-respect required to put down something that was so unredeemingly sentimental and made-for-tv movie predictable.
I have an embarrassing love-hate relationship with Jodi Picoult, based solely on the two novels of hers I've read so far - My Sister's Keeper and now the ridiculously similar Handle with Care. What really bugs me is that I find these books completely un-put-downable - I expect better of myself! I have gasped and wept and laughed out loud with the characters. I've longed for the husband to reach out to the besieged wife. I've raged at the doctors and lawyers. And I've hated myself for being sucked into a puddle of treacle.
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Based on reading the back cover of the novel I could have timelined every major plot point in the rest of the story. Breaks and heartbreaks. Stress on the marriage. A law suit. Betrayals real and imagined. The older sister disappears while the family worries about the baby. Etc.
And then I got to the last page. And read the final three paragraphs. And as I put the book down I thought 'Holy Shit! I didn't see that coming' ... I'm not being crass. That's exactly what I thought.
And yet here I am, highly recommending that you read this book. Even though I felt manipulated. Even though it's unrelentingly predictably. Even though it's written so that you can actually picture the TV movie version (that cop is SO Kyle Chandler in uniform, and who wouldn't want to see that?). Even though there's not one thing about it that will require any heavy mental lifting.
Read the book. Maybe just visit your dentist afterwards.