A Five Star Pick
I had been waiting for this novel from Genova ever since I heard it was being written and I have to say I was not disappointed. Once again, she has proven that a neurological condition, despite its tragedies, is not without some hope and humor. Huntington’s Disease is the latest topic the author decided to focus on this time around. What seems similar to ALS or even MS with its symptoms (as some illnesses are), Huntington’s is distinct in that it is passed down from a gene in one of the parents. A father or mother who has Huntington’s in their DNA has a 50% chance to pass it down to their children. Unfortunately, this is the case for the protagonist in the story. Joe O’Brien is an Irish Catholic cop, whose religious beliefs are tested (along with his character) when he is diagnosed with the disease. Since his parents’ medical history is a mystery to him, Joe never knew that his mother passed the gene down to him. As the family dynamics are thrown into disarray, Joe needs to accept his fate and continue to face the difficulties that will come to change his way of life forever. The bravery he displays throughout the rest of the book is admirable. That Genova highlights this disease to gain more notice and support without having those suffer feel ashamed, is commendable. A wonderful novel for a worthy cause.