Friday, March 6, 2009

My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult

My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult

Anna’s sister Kate is sick, very sick. She has been diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia. That is how Anna was born. Her parents had her genetically engineered so that she would be a perfect match donor for Kate. Now she is tired of undergoing all those medical procedures even though she is not the sick one. Now that she is thirteen she wants to have more choice and control over what happens in her life and what happens to her body. She decided to find a good lawyer, and sue her parents for medical emancipation.

Eh, I had mixed feelings on this book. I read it for the ward book club. Overall, I didn’t like it much. I loved the concept of the story, it is full of all kinds of dramatic conflict, and conflicting emotions. It is definitely a book one can form a strong opinion on. The writing was beautiful, and the characters fairly well developed and interesting. Though, I found the plot to be a little cliché and long. The trial doesn’t happen until half way through the book, and I kept trying to get through bunches of pointless philosophical ramblings, flashbacks, and side stories to get to Anna’s story. In fact, I hated the Campbell and Julia side story, it was full of crude sexual references, and pointless details about their love affair fifteen years ago. The book is about more than Anna’s conflict, and includes the stories of all the members of the Fitzgerald family. Jesse is the rebellious teen that is on drugs, committing a string of arsons, and breaking the law (And also making the occasional crude sexual reference). His father is the captain of the firemen team, trying to protect both of his daughters. Sara Fitzgerald is determined to keep her daughter Kate alive, and just struggles to keep the family from drowning under the stress of her medical disease.

So, while I appreciated some aspects of the novel. I felt like the book was too literary for my taste. I like thoughtful, beautiful prose, but not when I have to wade through an extra 100 pages of it to get a story. I got tired of the style halfway into the novel and couldn’t wait to finish it, not because I was interested in the story, but because I was tired of reading it. Part of this may be because the story doesn’t reflect a lot of my values, and because I’m not really a mother yet. I can understand this story being more engrossing to those that are mothers.


Anonymous said...

I also hated the Julia/Campbell sideplot. Though I was hooked when I read it, stayed up all night because I couldn't put it down. Part of my fascination wasn't because I was a mother, but more because I know someone who's daughter recently died of cancer, and so I was thinking if this is what she went through.

Natasha @ Maw Books said...

I didn't read your review but I've got this one on my TBR. I hope to read it soon. Picoult is coming to SLC in two weeks for a reading of her new book. I plan on being there.