Newest Review: ... decide to have another child in the hope that it will be a match for the daughter. Some people at this point disagree with this and I... more
A great thought-provoking read
My Sister's Keeper - Jodi Picoult
Member Name: UK1981_female
My Sister's Keeper - Jodi Picoult
Advantages: Really original
I bought and read 'My Sister's Keeper' quite a few years ago, not long after it had first hit the bookshops. I remember being intrigued by what I read on the back cover - about this being about a girl who had primarily been brought into the world by her parents to serve as an 'exact' genetic match, and thus a donor, for her sister who'd been diagnosed with cancer. As this is something that no parent is legally allowed to do at the moment, I liked the futuristic spin on the story and felt that Jodi Picoult had chosen to write a work of fiction that could actually one day be a reality for future generations, therefore presenting us with something that might potentially touch one of us or our loved ones in some way in the future.
I actually decided to read this book again a few weeks ago. Not only so that i would be able to give it a fair and fresh review, but also because i enjoyed it so much the first time round.
'My sister's Keeper' features two main characters - Kate, who was diagnosed with leukaemia at a very young age, and Anna, her little sister - who, as i already mentioned was conceived (with the help of the relevant technology) by her parents especially in an attempt to prolong, if not save Kate's life. The initial intention when Brian and Sara decide to have Anna, was not to expect Anna to have to give transfusions and even her bone marrow for as long as it was needed. Instead the girls' parents hoped that the placental blood produced upon Anna's birth would be enough to get Kate well again. However this was not to be, and we join Kate and Anna at a point in the story when Anna is now thirteen years old and has spent her entire life being involved in transfusions, injections and surgeries to help Kate's continuing fight against leukaemia.
I really enjoyed this book - mainly becuase it was extremely thought provoking. Scientific technology today does allow the creation of 'designer babies' and there is much debate ongoing with regards to whether one should be allowed to pick certain biological traits and characteristics in order to give a new human being the best biological chance. At this moment in time, we are ofcourse legally not permitted to do so. But when you think about it, what if you did have a young child diagnosed with cancer, and the possibility that a bone marrow transplant might save her life. Only problem being that nobody is a safe enough match for a transplant. I'm not sure how many parents might turn down the offer of having another child (that they would love anyway) that would be a pefect match. I suppose until a certain point, it might all seem simple. But 'My Sister's Keeper' tackles this issue and the consequences that might come with that sort of option being available. It was never part of the plan to 'use' Anna forever, but when Kate's inital transfusion fails to work, the only person that can help again is Anna. Following relapse after relapse, it is always Anna that is coming to the biological rescue, and you wonder where you need to draw the line. I can only think it would be a devastating situation for any parent to be in.
It's not just the subject matter of this book that is brilliant, but also the style in which it is written. We get to see the situation from the perspective of every character in the book. So whilst we of course see the story from the point of Anna and Kate, we also see the side of their parents, their brother (who feels particularly helpless in the situation) and of some other important figures in the story. I thought this was very clever on Jodi Picoult's part as it tackled what is a massively complex emotional issue excellently.
All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and would highly recommend it to all fiction-lovers!
Summary: Highly recommended