Saturday, April 7, 2012

My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult

In My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Pocuolt, 13-year-old Anna Fitzgerald was born with the intent that her cord blood would cure her sister, Kate, of Leukemia. However, Kate started relapsing five years after Anna's birth, requiring Anna to donate her blood, bone marrow, and— finally— kidney. This prompts her to sue her parents so that she can get medical emancipation from them.

From this, it is quite clear that the book centers on the issue of organ transplantation. It raises many questions regarding the ethics of organ transplantation, and lets the readers to deliberate over them. For example, should parents be able to genetically screen the embryos of their children, to ensure that the children can become matching donors for their older siblings?

What amazed me, though, was how the author managed to show the dynamics and complexity of Anna's household. By including narrations from each of the family members (except Kate), Picoult successfully illustrated the complicated relationships between each pair of family members and the conflicting emotions of them. To me, this was great because it demonstrated the extent to which a family could be affected by the issue; it showed the human and emotional— as opposed to the legal —side of the story.

In my opinion, though, the book had some flaws. For one, I found it entirely unnecessary to include Julia's and Campbell's (the lawyer's) relationship— I just don't see how it's relevant! Also, I quite disliked the ways in which Anna interacted with Campbell. She was always extremely rude and disrespectful, which didn't seem to match her personality depicted throughout the other parts of the novel.

Overall, I definitely think that this is a novel that is worth reading. It has a unique theme, as well as a good storyline. There were some parts that I didn't like, but for the most part it was good and thought-provocative.