In My Sister's Keeper, Jodi Picoult brings to life the questions of stem cell research and genetic engineering through the book's main character, Anna, and her family. Anna, at age 13 has given bone marrow, stem cells and blood to her older sister Kate. And now her parents are asking her to give Kate a kidney as well. After all, it's what Anna was born to do.
When Kate was diagnosed with a rare form of Leukemia at age 3, her parents decided to have another child, genetically engineered to be a match to Kate and hopefully to save Kate's life.
Now, 13 years later, Anna is tired of being a pin cushion and is seeking legal action to keep her parents from making her give a kidney - which may save Kate, but puts Anna's life in danger.
When I first heard about this book, I couldn't understand how anybody wouldn't do everything possible to try to save a family member, but after reading this book I felt I really understood how that type of decision could be made, although it would be difficult. Picoult does an amazing job of showing this from everyone's perspective, including the defending lawyer's position.
There were a few cheesy parts in there, and some predictable story lines, but for the most part I found this book to be a well-written and captivating read. And it made me cry, a lot, so it gets a high rating. Also, I found it difficult to believe that Anna was only 13 in the book. Her thoughts and actions seemed much more mature than that of any 13-year-old I've ever met. It was the one thing that kept stopping me throughout the book, but I just had to accept it and move on.
All in all I really liked this book. It got me to think about a subject I've never given much thought to. It also really made me think about what it must be like to be a parent trying to save a child with leukemia, and it made me wonder at what point they should give up.
Other blog reviews of this book:
Dog Ear Diary