Monday 29 July 2013
Review: My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult
Release Date: May 18th 2004
The back cover blurb: Sara Fitzgerald's daughter Kate is just two years old when she is diagnosed with a rare form of leukaemia, Reeling with the helpless shock of it, Sara knows she will do anything-whatever it takes-to save her child. Then the test results come back time and again to show that no one in their family is a match for Kate. If they are to find a donor for the crucial bone marrow transplant she needs, there is only one option: creating another baby, specifically designed to save her sister. For Sara, it seems the ideal solution. Not only does Kate live, but she gets a beautiful new daughter, Anna, too. Until the moment Anna hands Sara the papers that will rock her world. Because, aged Thirteen, Anna has decided that she doesn't want to help Kate live any more. She is suing her parents for the rights to her own body.
Anyone who has previously seen the film or read the book and enjoyed it, may hate me for this review. But I have always set out to give my honest opinion...
I must be one of the only people I know who hasn't seem the film version of this, and to be honest I had no real desire to read it. I tend not to read books that are 'in fashion' just because everyone else thinks that I should. I picked up this copy at my local library and thought well, the hype is over, why not.
After reading it, I'm not sure I have any desire to see the film. I was really disappointed with the ending (although I understand the ending is different in the film).
The book centres around the Fitzgerald family, their daughter Kate who is slowly being killed by a rare form of Leukaemia, her sister Anna who was specifically born to save her life and their elder brother Jesse who's attention seeking behaviour would be heartbreaking if it had been written properly.
At the age of Thirteen Anna is beginning to understand that her sister really wouldn't be alive were it not for her, and she is not sure she wants to deal with that kind of responsibility any more. She is fed up of her body being used and not once being consulted about the procedures she is undergoing, so what does she do? Sue her parents for the rights to her own body of course...
(Only in America right?!)
In the initial stages of the book I had Anna written off as a selfish teenager, but her argument is compelling, and as the story continues we see the moral and ethical dilemmas that all the family face over Kate's future.
The truth is, this is exactly the kind of book (and story) that you should get emotionally attached to, but I didn't shed a single tear, I couldn't, not when everything that Anna has fought for is wiped out with the ridiculous ending. All through the book we are given Anna's side of the story, only for her voice to be silenced at the end with no difficult decision having to be made. What on earth is the point of the rest of the book I ask myself? I really don't know. I felt it was a real cop out on the author's behalf, like she didn't even know the answers herself.
I don't want to give it away, so I will begrudgingly recommend the book, but only to see if you share my opinions!