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I recently read Jodi Picoult’s latest paperback, Handle With Care. Anyone who’s read her books will know that she loves writing about tragedy and doesn’t shy away from difficult subjects. In her previous books she’s discussed paedophilia, rape and even a school massacre, and in her latest offering she looks at the moral dilemmas of abortion, disability, parenting and friendship.

Charlotte O’Keefe is struggling financially to look after her daughter Willow, who suffers from Osteogenesis Imperfecta (brittle bones). But then a lawyer tells her that she has a case for wrongful birth – she could win a sum of money that would help with the medical bills for the rest of Willow’s life, but she would also have to stand up in public and tell the world that if she’d known of Willow’s condition before she was born, she would have had an abortion.

The best thing about Picoult’s writing is her ability to look at situations from all sides. Perhaps the characters do things you consider to be morally terrible, but Picoult’s talent lies in the way she can make you feel sympathy to even the most tainted individuals.

Her research into the subject is evident. Osteogenesis Imperfecta was something I’d never heard of before I picked up the novel but it’s clear that Picoult believes that getting the facts right is of the utmost importance. However, she writes about medicine and law in a way that’s interesting. Rather than falling asleep in the court scenes I was on the edge of my seat wanting to know the outcome.

This book will make you question your feelings about medicine, genetics and disability, and will stay with you long after you’ve read the final sentence.

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