Let’s get started on our first discussion of book #33, Handle with Care by Jodi Picoult. Have you finished reading Part II? If not, read no further lest you run into spoilers! Otherwise, hit us with your best shot at these discussion questions:
- Charlotte and Sean are faced with a very difficult decision when presented with the option of suing for “wrongful birth.” How did you feel about the lawsuit? The matter is complicated in many aspects, but especially because of Charlotte’s close friendship with Piper, her ob-gyn. How might the O’Keefes have considered and entered into the lawsuit if they had not had a personal relationship with Piper? Would your own reaction to it have changed?
- (p. 38) Charlotte says “I would never have wished for an able-bodied child, because that child would have been someone that wasn’t you.” Do you agree? Discuss.
- (p. 46) Sean is angry and wants to get payback for the way he and his family were treated by the authorities in Florida. What is your initial reaction: to do so or forget it? (p. 98) Charlotte asks Sean the perfect question, “How come you were perfectly willing to sue Disney World and half of the public service system in Florida for cash? What’s the difference?” Is there a difference? Discuss the irony of Sean’s feelings initially and then how he changes with the wrongful birth lawsuit. Being played the fool was worth it but getting help for forever wasn’t?
- How does Amelia deal with her position in the family…being a preteen, having low self-esteem, being, and the healthy sibling of a very ill child?
- Charlotte is confident that the potential end of her lawsuit will justify the means, but Sean can’t handle the idea that the “means” may leave Willow thinking she is unloved or unwanted. Clearly they both love their daughter, but express it in drastically different ways. What do each of their approaches say about love? Do Charlotte’s actions speak louder than Sean’s words?
- Now for our usual new-bookclub-author question, how do you feel about Jodi Picoult’s writing style? Have you read any other Picoult novels? Will you read more by this author?