My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult
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 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.
My Sister's Keeper examines what it means to be a good parent, a good sister, a good person. Is it morally correct to do whatever it takes to save a child's life, even if that means infringing upon the rights of another? Is it worth trying to discover who you really are, if that quest makes you like yourself less? Should you follow your own heart, or let others lead you? Once again, in My Sister's Keeper, Jodi Picoult tackles a controversial real-life subject with grace, wisdom, and sensitivity.
One of the reasons why I wanted to read this book was because it said 'sisters' in the title. Since I have two sisters who means a lot to me, I have always loved reading about 'sisters' :). I must say that once I started reading, I couldn't put the book down. Everytime I finished a chapter, I wanted to read one more and it went on until I finished.
The story has five main characters - Brian (Father), Sara (Mother), Jesse (son), Kate (daughter with cancer), Anna (daughter who is the donor for Kate). There are two other characters Campbell (lawyer of Anna) and Julia (who is appointed as ad litem for Anna) who are equally important I must say.
In the beginning I was a bit upset with Anna for wanting to sue her parents, but as I read on I was able to empathize with her. I kept wondering what I would have done if I was in Sara's place? Would I just give up and let go of Kate or would I keep fighting as she did?? Brian is a father who may not come across as a strong person in the beginning. But I felt he was like a pillar which kept the family together in the most difficult of times. Jesse's condition was understandable and quite predictable I must say. The intriguing thing was, there was no chapter narrating Kate's perspective until the end. I wonder why. Maybe the author wanted us to think on our own and understand what she was going through. I loved the way the love story unfolded between Julia and Campbell. Campbell reminded me how foolish and scared men can be sometimes (esp of commitment ;D). Julia reminded me of a hindi movie heroine, dont know why. Her character gave us an outsider's view about the ongoings. I was absolutely shocked (in a good way) by the climax as I never expected it. I never thought that it would end that way.
I savoured every bit of the book. The best part about the book was it wasn't narrated by just one character. Instead, each character narrates the story from his/her point of view and that narration was titled with their name. This helps the reader in understanding the story better and from all aspects. (The first chapter was titled Anna and it was her narration. I thought, are we gonna read only Anna's point of view? When I moved on to the second/third chapters, I realized that this was not the case. We would be listening to every character's point of view (except for Kate's until the end). This is the first time I have come across such form of writing and I was really pleased and impressed to see that :).
There are parts which tugs your heart and completely immerses you in the book. You feel as if you are one of the family members watching them quitely from a corner. There were times when tears started rolling and you feel like going and hugging one of them. OK, dont think that this book is all weepy and all about crying. Nope, it has good amount of humour too. To sum it up, a gripping, heart wrenching story that all of you should read! Am sure you will love it! :)
Rating - 4/5
"Maybe who we are isn't so much about what we do, but rather what we're capable of when we least expect it."
"But if you took every memory, every moment and stretched them out end to end, - they’d reach forever"
"If you have a sister and she dies, do you stop saying you have one? Or are you always a sister, even when the other half of the equation is gone?"
"Let me tell you this: if you meet a loner, no matter what they tell you, it's not because they enjoy solitude. It's because they have tried to blend into the world before, and people continue to disappoint them."
"I wondered what happened when you offered yourself to someone, and they opened you, only to discover you were not the gift they expected and they had to smile and nod all the same."
"The moon did her best. She carved each of these blocks of sorrow into a man or woman. She spent the rest of her time watching out so that the other stars wouldn’t fall. She spent the rest of the time holding onto what scraps she had left."