06 June 2009

Book Review: My Sister's Keeper

Title: My Sister's Keeper
Author: Jodi Picoult
Published: 2004 Pages: 528
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Rating: 4.5/5

Buy  |  Borrow  |  Accept  |  Avoid

In My Sister's Keeper, 13 year old Anna sues her parents over rights to her own body. Anna was conceived for the specific purpose of saving her sister's life. Kate was diagnosed with a form of leukemia and needed a perfect donor. Along comes Anna. But after 13 years of undergoing medical procedures to save her sister, Anna wants to stop.

The novel is the story of the courtcase, interwoven with snippets from the past. Each character narrates the individual chapters which I thought was a very effective way to tell the story. The reader is given a look into the thoughts and perspectives of everyone involved. We hear the voices of her parents, her brother and sister, her lawyer, and her court-appointed advocate.

Picoult does not make the characters superficial cliches or stereotypes. This is not the story of sweet Anna fighting against her evil parents. Intentions and emotions are not that simple. How far would any parent go to save their child? How much would they risk? How much do they lose? Family dynamics, especially in the midst of such tragedy, are complex, and Picoult reveals these complexities throughout the novel.
The bulk of the novel held my interest, made me think, make me feel. My only real disappointment was the end of the novel. From reading other reviews about this novel, I'm finding that most seem to enjoy the ending, if enjoy is the right word, but to me the end felt more like a play for sensationalism than a cohesive ending to the story which had been told previously.


  1. The ending is what struck me the most and made this book memorable to me. Did you hear that they changed the ending for the movie? It looks like a tear jerker!

  2. Seriously! They changed it? I wonder if the screenwriters thought is was too much a shot out of left field like I did?

  3. Hmmm-don't think enjoy is the right word! I second what Jess said about them changing the ending to the movie. Can't imagine how else it would end. This is my favorite Picoult book and I thought the ending really fit. As I was reading I couldn't figure out how else it could end. I remember staying up until 3 in the morning finishing and then just sobbing on the couch. :)

  4. I agree about the ending -- it was disappointing.


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