In the book My Sister’s Keeper by Jodie Picoult, Brian and Sara Fitzgerald’s lives are suddenly turned upside down when their two year old daughter Kate is diagnosed with leukemia. She is in need of genetic material from a perfect match. However, Jesse, her older brother, is not a perfect match. Anna is then conceived for the sole purpose of saving her sister. By age thirteen, Anna has undergone countless surgeries, transfusions, and shots so Kate can somehow fight the leukemia that has plagued her since childhood. Anna has always been expected to donate whatever Kate needed, whether it is bone marrow, blood, or now a kidney. However, being a teenager now Anna decides that she should have a say in the painful transplants and surgeries that she has to go through on a regular basis. That is when she decides to hire a lawyer and sue her parents for the rights to her own body, even though she knows that not donating her kidney to Kate will lead to the death of her sister. So now, Brian and Sara have to deal with the lawsuit against them, their dying daughter, and their now eighteen year old son who in the meantime has been getting himself into all kinds of trouble. Taking place in Providence, Rhode Island, My Sister’s Keeper is an excellent book about the struggles in the Fitzgerald family’s lives.
“Has the emotional tenacity to fuel tears and talk.” – Daily News (New York)
All the challenges that this family has to face throughout Kate’s sickness are hard for me to relate to, because thankfully I haven’t had to go through anything like this in my life. The way Picoult writes about the character’s feelings are very realistic. She describes the sadness in their lives. When writing about Sara, Picoult shows how Sara’s character tries to put on an act and be strong in front of others, but inside she is falling apart. To me, this seems like a very real situation. Being a mother of three, I think it is plausible that Sara would be trying her hardest to stay strong and not show her real feelings. However, she is just human, and having a sixteen year old daughter who is dying must be one of the hardest things a person could go through.
Picoult takes you on a journey full of inspiration and heartbreak. Each chapter in this book is written through a different character’s perspective. This allows you to get inside all of the character’s heads, and see how each one of them develops throughout the story. Picoult grabs your attention with great descriptions about the character’s feelings that get the reader thinking. Then, she surprises the reader with a heart-wrenching, unexpected turn of events at the end. The author uses a similar writing style in other books she’s written, such as The Pact, where she also writes from all different character’s points of view.
“‘You don’t love someone because they’re perfect,’ she says. ‘You love them in spite of the fact that they’re not.’” (384)
Jodie Picoult is one of my favorite authors. The way she writes leaves you amazed. Her writing style allowed me to feel a connection to each of the characters. This is a book I will never forget, because it made me think. Picoult did a great job of telling an excellent story that will have the reader laughing, and crying. It really makes you examine your life, and for me, it made me realize how lucky I really am.