Jodi Picoult is one of my favorite authors and "Handle With Care" is a shining example of the way the author is able to write - flawlessly - about characters you can believe in, and feel for. You cheer at their triumphs, sob at their heartaches. The O'Keefe family in this novel is no exception.
Willow O'Keefe suffers from osteogenesis imperfecta - a disorder that, at the level she was diagnosed with - means fracture after fracture. This would be enough to leave most people overwhelmed and afraid, yet Willow, at only 5 years old, is a marvel, a treasure, and a sight to behold. Her spirit captures you, leaves you awed - and yet even though you feel as if you know her, you don't see her point of view until the end of this spectacular novel. You do see, though, a family pushed to the breaking point, and then beyond, and how a set of circumstances beyond anyone's control sets in motion a chain of events that will affect each family member, and alter their lives permanently.
I won't lie - I cried more than once reading this book. Picoult brings you into this family's life effortlessly, and carefully illustrates her point over the course of the book. There are highlights, and low points, and this story is so well-crafted that I wasn't able to put it down until the heart-wrenching tale was played out.