Monday, September 24, 2007

My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult

Title: My Sister’s Keeper
Author: Jodi Picoult
ISBN: 13: 9781416549148
Publisher: Atria Books
Genre/Pages: Fiction/500

Very surprising that I had not read any Jodi Picoult before this. I have heard of her but somehow missed reading her books. I picked two of her books yesterday and started reading ‘My Sister’s Keeper’ as soon as I got home. It kept me hooked until the end.

Anna was conceived meticulously with a genetic match for her sister Kate, who is diagnosed with APL, a fatal kind of leukaemia. By the time she is thirteen, she has undergone numerous surgeries, transfusion etc for her older sister. She had no say in those. Now, she questions her parents’ decision and wants to lead a normal life apart from her sister. She goes and hires a lawyer, Campbell Alexander to represent her.

From there starts the conflict. Her decision affects her family, her mother Sara, father Brian, Brother Jesse and of course her sister Kate. In a way, Anna is defined in terms of Kate. All are torn apart. Brian somewhat understands her predicament but Sara cannot see beyond Kate. Jesse has been ignored for as long as he remembers.

The most important question asked here is that do parents have the right to decide on behalf of a minor to donate her/his organs for her/his sibling? Does she/he have any say in the matter? With a sick child, who needs constant care, the other children are neglected. There is lack of time, money and patience to give attention to the other kids in the family. In a way, Anna is lucky because without her support, Kate cannot survive. Jesse is taken for a gone case. He is totally ignored as he is of no use to Kate. Despite all this, we see him feeling greatly for both his sisters even though he is helpless.