Picoult, J. (2004). My Sister’s Keeper. Prince Frederick, MD: Recorded Books.
I actually read My Sister’s Keeper a couple of years ago. When I was shopping, the name and the book cover caught my eye. I read the back cover and found myself immediately requesting this book through the library. Recently, I saw that the movie was to come out and I checked out the audiobook.
The main story is that of thirteen year old Anna Fitzgerald. The Fitzgeralds has Anna to save the life of her leukemia-ridden sister, Kate. Through the years, Anna gave Kate platelets, bone marrow, and stem cells. Anna draws the line at donating a kidney. With the help of attorney Campbell Alexander, Anna sues her family for the right to her own body. Throughout the book, the reader glimpses the points of view of the various characters. This includes Anna, Kate, their parents – Sara and Brian, brother Jesse, Campbell, and guardian ad litem Julia. The reader sees the thoughts of these characters and their motivations.
When reading the book, I found I could barely tolerate Sara Fitzgerald – a mother so involved in the survival of her beloved Kate. She neglects her other children and, to some extent, her husband. When listening to the book, I realized she had a one track mind and was quite ruthless. In the parts of the book where she narrates, it becomes clear she’s stuck in the past. The second time through, I nearly pitied her.
My heart went out to Brian Fitzgerald, the firefighter trying to keep together his family. He cared about his kids and could see things in a more lucid way than Sara. I did not envy him his plight.
If nothing else, My Sister’s Keeper brings about many questions. What would you do to save your child? When do you cross the line? Should a sibling feel obligated to donate so? Is one child’s survival above that of your other children?
While well-written, I was angry at the end of the book. In fact, I was mad throughout my reading of the book. At least, I was not comatose. I have yet to see the movie and I thought Cameron Diaz was too sweet and likable to play Sara Fitzgerald. Also, it looks as though it’s more about Kate than Anna. Not cool!
All in all, three out of five pearls.
Places: Providence, Rhode Island
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