Tuesday, March 30, 2010

challenged with the "what would you do?"

How do you read a book? Do you read the back of the book or go into it blind? My hubbin thinks I am a book ruiner, for some reason, I have a really bad habit of reading about 10 pages in, then I read the last page. Admittedly, it does ruin it sometimes :) But I absolutely cant help it!

In the rare moments I get 5 seconds to myself, I run to books. I LOVE reading. I love escaping to distant countries, different times, to become someone different, even if its brief. I love trying to sort out characters lives, their loves, their problems.... all in the sanctuary of my own space.

There is one author though, that challenges me more than I would sometimes like to be challenged. She writes fictional books, but they are incredibly strong, sometimes difficult, full of facts, and mostly, about parents and their kids. Most of the kids in the books have a physical, mental or emotional challenges. Most are incredibly awful situations. And all of them make me wonder how I would cope as a parent in any of these situations.

The author is Jodi Piccoult. She writes amazing stories about these kids and their families and the lengths that people go to to help them. "My Sisters Keeper", the first book of hers I read, threw me into a world where a child is sick and another is concieved to save the first child.

Anna is not sick, but she might as well be. By age thirteen, she has undergone countless surgeries, transfusions, and shots so that her older sister, Kate, can somehow fight the leukemia that has plagued her since childhood. The product of preimplantation genetic diagnosis, Anna was conceived as a bone marrow match for Kate - a life and a role that she has never questioned… until now. Like most teenagers, Anna is beginning to question who she truly is. But unlike most teenagers, she has always been defined in terms of her sister - and so Anna makes a decision that for most would be unthinkable… a decision that will tear her family apart and have perhaps fatal consequences for the sister she loves. My Sister's Keeper examines what it means to be a good parent, a good sister, a good person. Is it morally correct to do whatever it takes to save a child's life… even if that means infringing upon the rights of another? Is it worth trying to discover who you really are, if that quest makes you like yourself less?

( the movie is quite possibly, the worst movie I have ever seen. Totally far off the book and the ending they make is so different from the book it isnt funny). The books dont end like you want them to ( most of them) and leaves you really wondering what you would do.

I have been blessed far beyond what I really understand in having three healthy, happy, beautiful children. How far would I go to keep them that way? Would I hurt someone else to protect them? Would I steal? Would I lie in court? Would I kill?

I have just recently finished "handle with care" which plunged me into a world I really hadnt heard before. A child with Brittle Bone disease. A decision to sue the doctor for not finding out early enough so you could have "done something " about it ( i.e an abortion). Massive rollercoaster to get the best outcome for that child, whilst trying to tell her you still love her and really wanted her regardless of her disease.


When Charlotte and Sean O’Keefe’s daughter, Willow, is born with severe osteogenesis imperfecta, they are devastated – she will suffer hundreds of broken bones as she grows, a lifetime of pain. As the family struggles to make ends meet to cover Willow’s medical expenses, Charlotte thinks she has found an answer. If she files a wrongful birth lawsuit against her ob/gyn for not telling her in advance that her child would be born severely disabled, the monetary payouts might ensure a lifetime of care for Willow. But it means that Charlotte has to get up in a court of law and say in public that she would have terminated the pregnancy if she’d known about the disability in advance – words that her husband can’t abide, that Willow will hear, and that Charlotte cannot reconcile. And the ob/gyn she’s suing isn’t just her physician – it’s her best friend.

Handle With Care explores the knotty tangle of medical ethics and personal morality. When faced with the reality of a fetus who will be disabled, at which point should an OB counsel termination? Should a parent have the right to make that choice? How disabled is TOO disabled? And as a parent, how far would you go to take care of someone you love? Would you alienate the rest of your family? Would you be willing to lie to your friends, to your spouse, to a court? And perhaps most difficult of all – would you admit to yourself that you might not actually be lying?

Its a big one. I had to stop a fair bit and process my own thoughts a number of times. But I love the challenge it gives me as a mum.
Before reading them, I would have said no to most of the above questions, but then I have never been a situation that calls for that kind of behaviour. Once I began to read them though, it really challenged my thinking and sometimes even forced me to take sides in the story.

If you've never had this kind of reading experience, I totally challenge you to get one of her books.

( I am not being endorsed for this plug. I just would love other people to think/read outside their bubble)


  1. And the next one is released tomorrow....yipee!

  2. I am already on it :) its been out for a week :) Its REALLY good :)