Title: My Sister’s Keeper
Author: Jodi Picoult
Publisher: Washington Square Press
Release Date: February 1, 2005
Can a parent love too much? Or is too much never enough?
Anna is not sick, but she might as well be. By age thirteen, she has undergone countless surgeries, transfusions, and shots so that her older sister, Kate, can somehow fight the leukemia that has plagued her since childhood. The product of preimplantation genetic diagnosis, Anna was conveived as a bone marrow match for Kate – a life and a role that she has never challenged … until now. Like most teenagers, she has always been defined in terms of her sister – and so Anna makes a decision that for most would be unthinkable, a decision that will tear her family apart and perhaps have fatal consequences for the sister she loves.
This entire book was touching. Anna and Kate’s story, through the eyes of the entire family, was such an emotional rollercoaster that I had to take a break a few times so I wouldn’t dissolve in tears. I can’t imagine such a situation, and the style of the writing hid so many true motives and secrets and moral issues within the main plot line that I was never bored. I was never completely at ease with the characters until the end, and then I was breaking down in tears anyway – yes, this story was VERY emotional.
Anna’s character was so conflicted. She wanted to do the right thing, and for most of the book, that included being noticed. As much as her love for her sister was, Anna was a child too. I was definitely on her side the entire time. As soon as I met Campbell, too, I was on his side. He was such a supporter of Anna, whatever his reasons were at the time, and there was just something instinctive that I liked about him whenever his character popped up, and it wasn’t just his sarcastic humor. His and Julia’s parts in the story were key, and I enjoyed their own backstories as well. It doesn’t hurt that there was an awesome dog mixed in with them, either.
Brian and Sara, Anna’s parents. Wow. I can’t even believe what they went through, and had to deal with. The entire book, with three children all with their own issues, and then their own marital issues because of the children and the misguided focus they both had, and then all the trouble they went through forthatending? Really? Still, I think I liked Brian better than Sara, if only because of a bias towards Anna. Jesse, too, was mixed up with this, and I feel as though he was possibly most affected. His scene with his dad was really touching.
Basically, you will be shocked by this book. Even though I love all the characters, and the story was great, I will probably never read this book again, if only because it touches a little too close to home for me. Besides, I didn’t like the ending – I mean, come on! Making me cryat the end?? Who does that!? Still, I really do recommend this book. It will take you for a ride and leave you thinking, for sure.