Inside the O'Briens

  • by Lisa Genova
  • Narrated by Skipp Sudduth
  • 11 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

From award-winning, New York Times best-selling author Lisa Genova comes a powerful new novel that does for Huntington's disease what her debut Still Alice did for Alzheimer's.
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?


What the Critics Say

"Skipp Sudduth's performance of Genova's exploration of Huntington's disease makes the science of this inherited, incurable, degenerative nerve disease very personal.... Sudduth's no-nonsense delivery and unemotional handling of this highly emotional subject are exactly right.... Clear-eyed and heartrending, this is top-notch listening." (AudioFile)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

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.
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- Stephen Rasmussen

I wanted to love this but

Still Alice is the reason I read this book. It resonated with me for days, weeks and months and I was so looking forward to being taken on a similar ride. Unfortunately this book just doesn't get there. I think that the disappointment stems from the lack of any real story. Sure we get the family and the heartbreak and an insight into the disease but none of the characters progress past superficiality. I think that the author just skimmed the surface of too many family members and we were left with a colourless glimpse of their journey.
The most frustrating part of this book is of course the ending. I understand the author not wanting to spell it all out but we are so far from the end of any of these characters story that I felt cheated. If only Lisa had taken us right to the end- tackled the HD death, I would have felt it was worth the read.
Sorry but this book is completely forgettable.
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- Mark "Avid fiction listener from Australia who not ashamed to have a biased for what some may call 'chicklit'. Keen for new author suggestions"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 04-07-2015
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio