Friday, October 30, 2009

My Sister's Keeper by Jodie Picoult

I suppose that by now, everyone that wants to read this, or see the movie, has done so. But just in case you haven't...

Had been meaning to read this one for ages, even before I knew there was a movie being made. In fact, if a movie is made it's really neither here nor there for me. I have read Picoult before, and I wanted to do so again. Her novels are incredibly thought-provoking, dealing with complicated issues in non-linear ways.

What's this one about? Well, in case you've been living under a rock...

Anna was an IVF baby. The embryo that became her was selected specifically because she would be a perfect genetic match for her sister, Kate, suffering from APL, a type of leukemia with a low survival rate. The idea was that Anna's umbilical cord blood would provide stem cells to potentially cure Kate. However, it didn't work out that way, and over the years Anna has donated blood and bone marrow to Kate, who's health has continued to deteriorate. Now Kate's kidneys have stopped working, and a kidney transplant from Anna is her only chance, if she's strong enough to survive the surgery. It all comes to a head when Anna retains legal counsel to sue her parents for medical emancipation so that she can make her own decisions about being a donor for her sister.

I think Picoult relishes writing about difficult subject matter. She avoids giving clear-cut answers, and reveals more and more about her characters, little by little. I think she purposely keeps you guessing so that you keep thinking. She's also the master of the tear-jerker. Enough said.

So if you haven't yet read My Sister's Keeper, I recommend that you do. And I've heard that they've changed the ending for the movie, so I don't think I'd bother with that. (The ending is a very big part of the story - I can't believe they would change it!)

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