My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult

May 26, 2011
By Amy Zhao BRONZE, Cambridge, Michigan
Amy Zhao BRONZE, Cambridge, Michigan
3 articles 0 photos 0 comments

In the U.S. legal system, what’s wrong and what’s right is often determined by a bang of the judge’s gavel. But when a particular case involves a teenager who declares medical emancipation from her parents to gain the rights to own her body and her identity, yet puts at risk the life of her beloved sister, how can what’s right be distinguished from what’s wrong?

Thirteen-year old Anna Fitzgerald was the first designer-baby created in Rhode Island. She was created in order to help her sister Kate fight leukemia. She has donated cord blood, lymphocytes, granulocytes, and bone marrow to her sister, but each time she donates something, another problem pops up and calls for more. This time, it calls for a kidney. Tired of being defined in terms of how helpful she is to her sister, Anna decides to sue her parents for medical emancipation, a decision that could destroy the bonds in her family, and sign a death sentence for the sister she loves. A profound novel that holds many moral quandaries and ethical issues, Jodi Picoult’s My Sister’s Keeper will keep you engrossed not only with the plot, but also with the chemistry of the characters.

Like many of Picoult’s books, My Sister’s Keeper is narrated in first person by many of the characters, including Anna, her mother, her lawyer and other characters. This arrangement of perspective makes it hard to blame any of the characters, and only makes it harder to judge right and wrong. Anna faces many problems not only from her mother, who is enraged at the fact that Anna has stopped being a donor for her sister, but Anna has to face herself. She feels like a terrible person, and she cannot bear to part with her sister. She even says, “Kate and I are Siamese twins; you just can’t see the spot where we’re connected. Which makes separation that much more difficult.” Sometimes Anna cannot continue the lawsuit she has filed, and other times she has to break her mother’s heart. It is just too much for a thirteen-year old to handle. The intense emotions in this book and the complex storyline spell out the recipe for a remarkable book.

My Sister’s Keeper is a beautiful piece of fiction. The text is filled with the imageries of fires and of stars. If you are somebody who is interested in law, understands how it feels to be stuck at a fork in the road, or has a sibling you love, this book would be a great read that would leave a lasting impression.

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