“The only way to save your daughter
Is to sacrifice her sister”
This is what my paperback copy of My Sister’s Keeper reads on the cover. That alone should pique your interest enough to buy the book and read it. However, because you are you, you go on Goodreads and read the summary and the rating there, which says….
“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 leukaemia that has plagued her since childhood. The product of preimplantation genetic diagnosis, Anna was conceived as a bone marrow match for Kate — a life and a role that she has never challenged… until now. Like most teenagers, Anna is beginning to question who she truly is. But unlike 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 have perhaps fatal consequences for the sister she loves.”
This would definitely help in moving this book up your To – Be – Read List. Btw, the Goodreads rating was 4.05. This helped me make my decision. I make it sound like it was a hard, vigorous process that went into buying this book. It really wasn’t.
The book begins with Anna making a decision to file for medical emancipation, which in English means that she just sued her parents to be able to make her own medical decisions. But since she is only 12, she would need a guardian to help her make these decisions. Who better than her parents, right? But if your parents were dead set on saving your sibling, while using you as the tool for it, what would you do? Where is the limit to how far you would go to save your sibling, or a family member? How far would your parents go? Does a parent love one child more than the other? These are some of the questions this book address. But that is not all.
The book is written through various members of Anna’s family, which include her mother, father, brother and finally her sister. Throughout the book, every time the narrator changed, I found myself routing for different people. I was horrified that I was basically choosing between who gets to live amongst these two beautiful girls! I truly hated myself for it. I think that is what Jodi Picoult’s writing does! It tugs on your moral compass and has the ability to show you the mirror. Not many authors have the capacity to do that while telling you a compelling story.
Now, I have only read one other Jodi Picoult book, The Pact. I am not sure how she usually addresses the other ethical dilemmas that her books always address. But, I found that the way the characters responded to the situations at hand were very similar in both The Pact as well as My Sister’s Keeper. The ethical decisions that were made were extremely parallel to each other in these books. I will not give away spoilers so you will have to read both books to understand what I am talking about!
However, having said that, the ending of My Sister’s Keeper was totally unexpected! I was blown away by how things turned out. I was left with this complete and utter desperation about how life can be so unfair. I was left questioning my moral compass.
But really, who and what do you choose in a situation like this?