My Sister's Keeper Book Review
My Sister's Keeper
is truly a perfect book for a book club discussion. It presents contemporary debatable material and brings along with it a giant spread of emotion. I absolutely adored this book. Any reader would love it, especially female readers and even more so, female readers with sisters.
I have a sister and so I was truly able to relate to the characters in this book. One thing I loved about My Sister's Keeper was how each chapter was written in the first person of a different character. This way, you got a bird's eye view on the character, how they felt and what was motivating them. I think that without doing it this way, most reader's would have resigned to hating the mother. But when you were able to read a few chapters on her view and how she saw the world around her, you were able to sympathize with her, at least a little bit. And since I am about to become a mother myself, I didn't find her completely wrong. Still, I did not agree with her decisions as far as her two daughters were concerned, Kate and Anna.
Kate is the eldest daughter. We don't see any chapters in My Sister's Keeper written from her perspective except at the very end. This is because she is the main source of tension upon which this book revolves around. Kate was born with Leukemia and she will not live a long age. Her mother, desperate for a solution, turns to genetic engineering and stem cell research. Her and her husband bear a third child ( a second daughter named Anna) who is genetically engineered to be the perfect donor for Kate. Anna now becomes a donor for Kate, donating her cord blood, plasma, blood cells, bone marrow and more each time Kate needs something new.
It is not a normal life for either girl. Kate is always sick and Anna is always saving her life. They spend most of their lives in the hospital. But My Sister's Keeper begins when Anna has reached the tender age of 13 and chooses to hire an attorney and sues her parents for the rights to her own body just when Kate crucially needs one of her kidneys. She never elaborates on why she wants to do so, and she seems torn about her own decision. She loves her sister and doesn't want her to die.
The reader assumes that she is sick of being the donor. She was born for a purpose, for Kate, not because her parents wanted another child. We all connected to her plight in different ways. My own sister was second born. What if she had been born to save my life...how would I feel and most of all, how would she feel? She would have felt like less of a person, less of a daughter in her family's eyes. Is this wrong or is this right? How cruel is it to bear one child and subject them to a life in the hospital just for the sake of another child? I could and would never do it.
I won't spoil the ending for you but there are certainly two parts to the ending. We find out WHY she has actually decided to file the suit, and then we have our final ending with Kate. I have a read a lot of reviews and many people felt that the ending with Kate was the biggest cop out ever for a book, although they liked the rest of it. I didn't feel that way at all. It could have ended much easier, with Kate saying goodbye to her family and explaining her own feelings in her own chapter. But it didn't end this way. Jodi Picoult chose to stab all of her reader's in the heart with the most unexpected and painful ending. Yes, it will make you cry. Yes, you will throw the book across the room. And yes, you will hate the ending. But if any book can have that much of an impact on you at the end...I think it means you were touched.
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