Sunday, February 13, 2011

Book review: My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult

Title: My Sister's Keeper
Author: Jodi Picoult
Genre: Novel
Subject: Family drama, moral issues, cancer
Publisher: Atria
Release date: April, 2004
Length: 432 pages
I got this book: I had it on my shelves for a long while.

Normally I type this myself, however since I am down with the flu, today's plot summary is from wikipedia:
"Anna Fitzgerald's older sister, Kate, suffers from acute promyelocytic leukemia, a cancer of the blood and bone marrow. Anna was conceived in order to harvest blood from her umbilical cord in order to use in treatments to help save Kate's life. Although the treatment was initially successful, Kate relapsed; ever since, Anna, the only compatible family member, has been used as a donor for any other bodily substance needed to treat Kate, who continues to swing between remission and relapse as she grows up.

Anna is usually willing to donate whatever Kate needs, but when she is 13, she is told that she will have to donate one of her kidneys. The surgery required for both Kate and Anna would be major; it is not guaranteed to work, as the stress of the operation may well kill Kate anyway; and the loss of a kidney could have a serious impact on Anna's life. Anna petitions for medical emancipation with the help of lawyer Campbell Alexander, so that she will be able to make her own decisions regarding her medical treatment and the donation of her kidney."

Personal opinion:
It took me a good while to actually pick this up from my shelf. From reviews of others, I already knew that this was a book you either love or hate. There seems to be no in between, yet for me it was. The story as a whole is a great one, a story that presents a moral dilemma that goes so deep, you can't wrap your head around it. Every time you think you know on which side you are, new details are tossed in that sway your whole point of view around. So yes, I think this is a good read. However there is enough to dislike about the book as well. For instance there was a sub-plot about a love story between Anna's lawyer and the social worker that was on her case. I didn't think this added anything to the story and I skipped those bits at a certain point, since to me it was just an annoying distraction. To be honest, I would have liked it better if they replaced the chapters from the social worker's point of view, for Kate's, who you didn't hear from except once. Each chapter was told by a different person involved. This causes a deep understanding of the story, yet they switched so many times that it prevented me from getting into the flow of reading, and it took me six days to finish due to this. I really disliked the ending too. It wasn't satisfying at all. It came so sudden that it felt like the writer wanted to end the book abruptly without a good way to do so. Too bad, because the book really had potential but because of the many flaws, I can't rate it more then okay.

It was okay

Purchase links: On Amazon and the book depository

Other reviews: None yet.
If you have reviewed this book and want your link here, please leave a comment with the link, and I will add it here :)

1 comment:

  1. I agree. It's a great topic and in different hands had a lot of potential. I really really hated the ending! I felt like it undermined the whole moral debate.