Joe O'Brien is a 44-year-old Boston police officer from the Irish Catholic neighborhood of Charlestown, Massachusetts. A devoted husband, a proud father of four children in their 20s, and a respected, seasoned law enforcement officer, Joe begins experiencing bouts of disorganized thinking, uncharacteristic temper outbursts, and strange, involuntary movements. He initially attributes these episodes to aging and the cumulative physical and psychological 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.
Huntington's is a lethal neurodegenerative disease with no treatment and no cure. And it is genetic. Each of Joe's four children has a 50 percent chance of inheriting their father's disease, and a simple blood test can reveal their genetic fate. While watching their potential futures in their father's escalating symptoms, the children struggle with the questions this test imposes on their young adult lives, including his youngest, 21-year-old Katie. Does she want to know? What if she's gene positive? Can she live with the constant anxiety of not knowing?
As Joe's symptoms worsen, and he's eventually stripped of his badge and more, he struggles to maintain his identity and sense of purpose. How can he find hope in a situation that feels hopeless? How can he find courage without any armor or weapons? What else might he be able to pass down to his children other than a fatal disease? Where is the honor in living and dying with Huntington's?
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Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By A Walker on 12-04-15
Heartbreaking - family life & Huntington's Disease
Beautifully and painfully described family life coming to terms with the tragedy of Huntington's Disease. I found it both highly informative and the characters well drawn. Highly recommend this audio book.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Stephen Rasmussen on 18-04-15
As a person at risk for HD
This book is beautifully written, and provides a great easy to understand explanation of Huntington's disease. It accurately portrays the difficulties families with Huntington's go through. It closely parallels my own experiences. At times it was difficult for me to listen to, because of the difficult subject, but that's exactly what a good book should do, get you involved and makes you feel. The narrator was excellent and I cannot think of a better choice.
23 of 24 people found this review helpful
By Sumi06 on 14-04-15
Such an amazing family story
If you could sum up Inside the O'Briens in three words, what would they be?
so wonderfully moving
What other book might you compare Inside the O'Briens to and why?
i haven't read a book that made me want feel the characters pain and hopes and fears so clearly. I'm spoiled now this book was amazing!
What about Skipp Sudduth’s performance did you like?
His voice is perfect as the Boston cop and the daughter. You are them while you listen to him
Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?
no, there where many.
Any additional comments?
I've recommend this book to so many people and am looking forward to reading the author's other books
7 of 7 people found this review helpful