Monday, October 26, 2009

Sleep toward Heaven and Handle With Care

I've been back on a bit of a reading kick lately, and polished off two books in the last week!

In Sleep Toward Heaven, we meet three women who lead very different lives--a 29 year old female awaiting execution on death row in Texas, a 29 year old doctor from New York who has just lost a patient that she was close to, and a Texas librarian struggling to reclaim her life after the death of her husband.

It was a little slow and melodramatic at first, but keep reading--there's much more to the story than first meets the eye.

This is one that I'd definitely recommend reading--and when was the last time I said THAT?!

Now, I think some of you probably remember me saying that I like Jodi Picoult, but that we've been on a break. This was partially because I've read almost all her books and was getting tired of her writing style (and could usually pretty quickly predict the ending of the book). I've had this book for awhile, but haven't read it because it's about a very fragile baby--a baby with brittle bone disease. And for my own sanity, I've been trying to stay away from books where babies have the propensity to die. Anyway.

From the inside jacket:

Things break all the time.
Day breaks, waves break, voices break.
Promises break.
Hearts break.

Every expectant parent will tell you that they don’t want a perfect baby, just a healthy one. Charlotte and Sean O’Keefe would have asked for a healthy baby, too, if they’d been given the choice. Instead, their lives are made up of sleepless nights, mounting bills, the pitying stares of “luckier” parents, and maybe worst of all, the what-ifs. What if their child had been born healthy? But it’s all worth it because Willow is, well, funny as it seems, perfect. She’s smart as a whip, on her way to being as pretty as her mother, kind, brave, and for a five-year-old an unexpectedly deep source of wisdom. Willow is Willow, in sickness and in health.

Everything changes, though, after a series of events forces Charlotte and her husband to confront the most serious what-ifs of all. What if Charlotte should have known earlier of Willow’s illness? What if things could have been different? What if their beloved Willow had never been born? To do Willow justice, Charlotte must ask herself these questions and one more. What constitutes a valuable life?"

Overall, it was shaping up to be a half-decent book. But I couldn't help but thinking 'I've read this before!' and it wasn't until the last chapter that I realized that I had read this book before. Or virtually the same book, also by Jodi Picoult. It's My Sister's Keeper...even the endings are strikingly similar [and ps--please no spoilers about the ending of my Sister's Keeper...I know there's at least one person who reads this blog that's currently in the middle of it!]. I'm really sad about this. I was counting on this book to be the one that sent me back into Jodi Picoult's arms. Unfortunately, I just can't recommend it, unless you haven't (and won't ever) read My Sister's Keeper. 'Cause really, that's the better book of the two.

So what about you all--what are you reading?


  1. I read some light and fluffy chick lit book this weekend - and can't even remember the name! I have issues with Jodi Picoult, too. Predictable endings, yes. She does the same thing in every book. But she also leaves so many loose ends, ones that could have made her storyline much more interesting if she'd touched on them later.

  2. I love Jodi Picoult, but like you was on a little break. I just ordered Handle with Care, and another one of her books (I can't remember which one) from Amazon. I'm excited to read them :)

  3. I am putting the first book on my list of reads.

    I read Handle With Care and felt the same way you did...I've read this before. It was way too similar to My Sister's Keeper. I have read the majority of Jodi Picoult's books and think I'm done for a while. They are way too predictable.

    I am reading Sleeping Arrangements by Madeleine Wickham. It's an easy read. Nothing too deep. I've been having issues getting into books lately, so I'm hoping this light read will help me get back into reading again.

  4. I agree! I was reading Handle with Care and the whole time I was just noticing the similarities between that and My Sister's Keeper. Boo!

    Right now I am reading some random romance book from the library. I usually end up with 5 or 6 of them because there are so freaking many and I can just go to that section and grab a handful :-P I have definitely added the first book to my library list though!

  5. At the moment, I am reading "Crabwalk," by Guenter Grass (for class, but I'd read it anyway, since Grass is brilliant and the translation is pretty brilliant too). Also, "Many Thousands Gone: The First Two Centuries of Slavery in North America," by Ira Berlin, also for class. And two books by Omer Bartov, also for class, and a bunch of crap on German cinema since reunification, and god knows what else I should be reading. Occasionally, I sneak a short story from "East, West" by Salman Rushdie.

  6. That first book looks really good and I might have to check it out from the library-opening deer season is coming up! Thanks for the recommendations.

  7. I agree. Love Jodi, but Handle with Care wasn't my favorite. It was too stereotypical for her. I don't love when she does medical themes. I prefer her historical, political, religious themed books.


Thanks for visiting La Buena Vida and taking the time to leave a comment--I love hearing from you!

Please know that you do not need to agree with me in order to leave a comment! All comments that are respectful and not anonymous will be published. Thanks again for visiting!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Blog Archive


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.