His Brother's Keeper Pulitzer winner Weiner (The Beak of the Finch) follows the Heywoods, a charismatic Massachusetts family rocked by middle son Stephen's diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis,… His Brother's Keeper Pulitzer winner Weiner (The Beak of the Finch) follows the Heywoods, a charismatic Massachusetts family rocked by middle son Stephen's diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis,… 2004-03-16 Nonfiction
Book Review

His Brother's Keeper (2004)

EW's GRADE
A-

Details Release Date: Mar 16, 2004; Writer: Jonathan Weiner; Genre: Nonfiction

Pulitzer winner Weiner (The Beak of the Finch) follows the Heywoods, a charismatic Massachusetts family rocked by middle son Stephen's diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a.k.a. Lou Gehrig's disease. As 29-year-old Stephen battles its incurable, degenerative neural effects, older brother Jamie suddenly switches careers, from mechanical to genetic engineer, in a medical race to save his sibling. Weiner, whose own mother suffers from a similar ailment, writes an eloquent and engrossing story that's equal parts heartbreaking and hopeful -- a very human tale of superhuman will in a molecular world. The Heywoods not only explore the untested boundaries of gene therapy but also maintain faith when ''the odds against Jamie's plan were so long that...hope almost felt like the heavier weight.''

Originally posted Apr 02, 2004 Published in issue #758 Apr 02, 2004 Order article reprints
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