‘My Sister’s Keeper’ by Jodi Picoult

“See, unlike the rest of the free world, I didn’t get here by accident. And if your parents have you for a reason then that reason better exist. Because once it’s gone, so are you.”


Undergoing countless surgeries.  She is not sick but she might as well be. It ruins her own life but at least she’ll save someone.

When Anna was little, she didn’t wonder how babies were made but why. After all, Anna knows the specific reason why she was born. Not because her parents  wanted an another child. No. She probably wouldn’t even exist. Anna Fitzgerald was ‘made’ to donate whatever Kate needed. She is the perfect genetic match for her sister Kate who suffers from a form of cancer, leukaemia. At age of thirteen, she has had enough. She decides to sue her parents for the rights of her own body but with the outcome that Kate will die.

People have a lot of opinions when it comes to this book, but they all agree on one thing: it’s a touching story. Why would someone do that to a child? But the mother only wanted to save her child, even if it means by neglecting her son, Anna’s elder brother and creating a designer baby, Anna.  And that’s why this book is perfect for ethical and moral dilemmas. How far can the mother go to save her children?

“The answer is that there is no good answer. So as parents, as doctors, as judges, and as a society, we fumble through and make decisions that allow us to sleep at night—because morals are more important than ethics, and love is more important than law. ”

The story itself is already a wrenching story. But what strengthens the story more is that Picoult uses a lot of narratives voices to tell the story. Each voice telling their story and each chapter telling the impact on the characters. The influence of having a sick girl in your family is quite obvious in this story. Even though she uses a lot of voices, it’s not unpleasant, because these voices changes smoothly into an another point of view and it’s still very easy to follow the story.  Her writing style is simple and enthralling with a medical word here and there. The best part is that even the simplest sentences gives the biggest meanings.

“You don’t love someone because they’re perfect, you love them in spite of the fact that they’re not.”

My Sister’s Keeper is Jodi Picoult’s best known book and probably her best one. Picoult has won several prices for this book, including best book of the year in 2005. Other bestselling books from Picoult are Nineteen Minutes, The Pact and Change of Heart.  There is also a film adaption made of this novel,  but sadly it’s nowhere near good as the book. Mostly because the storyline and the ending are a bit different from the book, along with other smaller changes. The movie would have been better if they actually used the original storyline. Nevertheless, the movie is still worth to watch.

The bestseller My Sister’s Keeper is one of her many novels, telling a heartbreaking story about a thirteen year old girl who’s struggling to make the right decision, risking the death of her sister and the relationship with her family. A wonderful book that even questions myself: What would I do as a mother in this kind of situation?

“In the end, though, I did not kill my sister. She did it all on her own.
Or at least this is what I tell myself.”

Starring Abigail Breslin, Sofia Vassilieva, Cameron Diaz, Alec Baldwin and Joan Cusack


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