Review: Inside The O’Briens (Lisa Genova)

Genre: General Fiction

Rating: ★★★


From the New York Times bestselling author of Still Alice Lisa Genova comes a powerful and transcendent new novel about a family struggling with the impact of Huntington’s disease.

Joe O’Brien is a forty-four-year-old police officer from the Irish Catholic neighborhood of Charlestown, Massachusetts. A devoted husband, proud father of four children in their twenties, and respected officer, Joe begins experiencing bouts of disorganized thinking, uncharacteristic temper outbursts, and strange, involuntary movements. He initially attributes these episodes to the stress of his job, but as these symptoms worsen, he agrees to see a neurologist and is handed a diagnosis that will change his and his family’s lives forever: Huntington’s disease.


A wonderful book by Still Alice’s Lisa Genova. Though not as amazing as Still Alice, this book is just as real and just as sad and wonderful. Opened my eyes to Huntington’s Disease. 

The story was told from 2 narratives, Joe and his youngest daughter Katie. I found her to be too whiny and bratty in how she dealt with the news but I realised her reaction is totally normal and acceptable in this kind of situations. 

The plot is a bit slow and nothing extreme happens. Which is a great reflection as the degenerative side of HD are shown to be slow over the years. The book portrays well how the O’Briens coped with the shock and aftermath of finding out the father has it. Not as intense as Still Alice but brilliantly written none the less. I felt like I was reading a family memoir instead of a fiction novel. 

I’d definitely recommend this if you want to learn more about neurological diseases. Lisa Genova will always be the go-to psychological-fiction writer for me! 


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