Inside The O’Briens by Lisa Genova

Inside the o'briens, Lisa Genova, Huntington's Disease, Book Journey

44 year old Joe O’Brien is proud of his police career.  He is happily married and has 4 adult children.  Life has treated him well and Joe can not say he has any complaints.

Until now.

When the bouts of anger start he chalks it up to stress.  The inability to hold a thought or remember what he was doing is all a part of just having a busy full life.  Yet when the involuntary movement of Joe’s arms, legs, and even eye brows start happening, even Joe has to agree that something may not be right.  When Joe is diagnosed with Huntington disease and finds out it is hereditary life changes in a heartbeat.

Each of Joe’s children have a 50% chance of having inherited the gene.  As Joe learns the real hard facts of what this disease will eventually do to him, scrambling his words, leaving him with an inability to work as well as most likely putting him in an assisted living home at an early age – each of Joe’s children must make the decision for themselves if they want to be tested to know if they carry the gene.





Lisa Genova does it again.  This authors ability to take an extreme life change much like she does in Still Alice (now a movie), and in Left Neglected; Lisa Genova takes us on an intimate up close look at what happens to a person when the life as they knew it is no more.

Incredibly heart-felt, Inside The O’Brien’s was an engaging listen that captured my heart and attention right from the beginning.  Skip Suddeth does a wonderful job of narrating this audiobook.  The story itself left me feeling for this family on the verge of adulthood finding there was through devastating news.  I learned a lot about Huntington’s Disease.  In typical Lisa Genova style, she is able to take an illness and make it three-dimensional to the reader.  Suddenly, I found myself caring and feeling for the O’Briens and I think that is the magical touch of an excellent writer.

In audio, or book format, this is one not to be missed.





  • Audible Audio Edition
  • Listening Length: 11 hours and 13 minutes
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Unabridged
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
  • Release Date: April 7, 2015



15 thoughts on “Inside The O’Briens by Lisa Genova

  1. I’ve had this on my tbr list for a while and it kept getting pushed further down by me adding more and more books. I’m glad though, because after reading your review, I’ll choose the audio version! Glad you enjoyed it!

  2. This book was so moving and sad. I like how she uses her books to bring awareness to diseases like Huntington’s Disease and allows readers to get an insider’s view of what it’s like to have an illness like that and the way it affects the family members too. Hopefully more people will be aware of HD and more compassionate towards people with the disease.

    My book group read Still Alice and we watched the movie. I think this book would be great for book discussion too.

  3. Were you frustrated with the ending at all? I felt like it kept building up to The reveal and then ended. I was disappointed. But the rest of it was well done.

  4. totally agree with you Sheila. This one hit kind of close to home for me and Lisa Genova really nailed it.

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