Plot (no spoilers):
What if you knew that your parents conceived you, not because they wanted another child or because you had been a mistake, but because they knew that your body could save their first child? What if all you can remember are long needles and visits to the emergency room? And what if it’s not because you’re the one who is sick?
What if you were born just so that your blood, marrow, and organs could be used to help save your older sister from leukemia?
When would enough become enough?
My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult opens such ethical questions for discussion, following the heartbreak and struggle of a family dealing with the horrors of leukemia. Thirteen-year-old Anna Fitzgerald is a perfect match for her older sister Kate… and it’s all by genetic design. She has spent her entire life following her sister to the hospital so that vital blood or marrow could be drawn. But when she hears her mother talk about the need for a kidney transplant, Anna decides to hire a lawyer and sue her parents for the rights to her own body.
Because she has had enough… But at what price?
This was my first time reading a Jodi Picoult novel, and I am already a huge fan of her writing. She brings the characters to life and has a conversational writing style that draws you into the story.
I also loved how she wrote the novel from the view-point of several main characters. You not only get Anna’s point of view. You also are introduced to the thoughts and emotions of a mother, father, lawyer, brother, and even Kate who is struggling for her life.
That being said, this novel was SAD and almost overwhelmingly so. There is no effort made to mask the horror and devastation parents feel when they find out that their beautiful little girl has leukemia. No sensor on how such fear and uncertainty can weigh on a family and strain it.
It was hard to read. But it was a good read. So I leave you with this… If you haven’t read this novel, you may want to. But don’t do so without a box of tissues handy.
Have you read My Sister’s Keeper? There is also a movie out, if you’re interested, although the ending is different from the novel’s.