Tuesday, 29 August 2017

My Sister's Keeper

Author: Jodi Picoult
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Type: Trade Paperback
Pages: 423 
Source: Personal Copy
Publisher: Washington Square Press
First Published: April 6, 2004
First Line: "In my first memory, I am three years old and I am trying to kill my sister."

Book Description from GoodReadsAnna 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 leukemia 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.

A provocative novel that raises some important ethical issues, My Sister's Keeper is the story of one family's struggle for survival at all human costs and a stunning parable for all time.

My Rating: 3 stars

My Review: My Sister's Keeper was one of those books that I had always meant to read but just never got around to (I never even saw the movie). But as part of my 2017 Read What I Own challenge I finally picked up the copy of this book that has been sitting on my bookshelves for years.

This story has all the aspects one expects from a Picoult novel. Emotionally charged issue, family drama and a court case. But where the book falters is with emotion. As a mother myself, you'd think I'd be a mushy mess picturing myself in the shoes of Sara but I didn't connect with her at all and found her to be quite wooden.

I liked Campbell, the ornery lawyer, whose one-liners about his service dog brought some levity to the story but I figured out the 'mystery' surrounding why he needed the dog immediately. And while I didn't predict the twist at the end, it felt added on for one last hit of emotion. After all that drama you end the book like THAT?? It felt contrived and a bit of a cop out.

Overall, I'm glad I finally read this book. Picoult, as usual, raises some interesting ethical issues which this time out include a child's right to her own body and the idea of creating 'designer babies'. This would be a good book for Picoult fans or anyone who likes a book centred around some emotionally charged issues.

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