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My Sister's Keeper Hardcover – 11 Oct 2004


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton; First Edition First Printing edition (11 Oct 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340835451
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340835456
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 24 x 3.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (667 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,297,077 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jodi Picoult received an A.B. in creative writing from Princeton University and a master's degree in education from Harvard. She is the author of seventeen novels including MY SISTER'S KEEPER(now a major film starring Cameron Diaz and Abigail Breslin), NINETEEN MINUTES, CHANGE OF HEART and HANDLE WITH CARE. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband and three children. Learn more at www.jodipicoult.co.uk.

Product Description

Review

Picoult has become a master - almost a clairvoyant - at targeting hot issues and writing highly readable page-turners about them . . . [[I]t is impossible not to be held spellbound by the way she forces us to think, hard, about right and wrong. (Washington Post)

'This is not just a great page-turning unputdownable read - it deals with sensitive intelligence with one of the major ethical issues of the day' - Claire Rayner

This beautifully crafted novel will grab readers with its stunning topic . . . the tightly woven tale seamlessly bounces from past to present . . . Picoult's style borders on the poetic (People Magazine)

Rarely have I read such an eloquent portrayal of the family in crisis. Every character: real. Every situation: true. Picoult defies you to put this novel down once you've begun it. I do the same. (Elizabeth George)

"[My Sister's Keeper] is a brilliant presentation of the kinds of dilemmas often engendered by the very gifts of modern medicine.... The clear, true voices of [Jodi Picoult's] characters offer just the right mix, allowing moments of comfort, love and humor to lighten the heavy emotions brought into play when there is no single 'right' answer to a question of life and death. And the interplay of story elements allows for constant, compelling surprises, leading up to the greatest surprise of all as the book ends. Do not expect a miracle. Do expect a powerfully poignant, page-turning read." --San Antonio Express-News

'A remarkable achievement' - Poisoned Pen

This astonishing novel is beautifully and thoughtfully written, and focuses on difficult moral choices. (Good Housekeeping)

'brilliantly told'

DAILY MIRROR



This is not just a great page-turning unputdownable read - it deals with sensitive intelligence with one of the major ethical issues of the day (Claire Rayner)

Anna's conflict between love for her sister ('without her, it's hard to remember who I am') and the desire for her own freedom is well portrayed. And Picoult writes with an evident understanding of the damage serious illness can do to a family. (DAILY MAIL)

A real tear-jerker...It's an absolutely wonderful book. (Sophie Anderson, Sunday Express)

Brilliantly told (Daily Mirror)

The difficult choices a family must make when a child is diagnosed with a serious disease are explored with pathos and understanding in this 11th novel by Picoult (Second Glance, etc.). The author, who has taken on such controversial subjects as euthanasia (Mercy), teen suicide (The Pact) and sterilization laws (Second Glance), turns her gaze on genetic planning, the prospect of creating babies for health purposes and the ethical and moral fallout that results . . .Picoult ably explores a complex subject with bravado and clarity, and comes up with a heart-wrenching, unexpected plot twist at the book's conclusion. (Publishers Weekly)

*Starred Review* Expect to be kept up all night by Picoult's latest novel, but it's much more than a page-turner; it's a fascinating character study framed by a complex, gripping story. Thirteen-year-old Anna Fitzgerald walks into the office of lawyer Campbell Alexander and announces she wants to sue her parents for the rights to her own body. Anna was conceived after her older sister, Kate, developed a rare form of leukemia at the age of two, and has donated bone marrow and blood to her sister. Now she has been asked to donate a kidney, and she intends to refuse. Campbell is a jaded young man who nevertheless decides to take her case pro bono. Anna's parents are shocked when they learn of her lawsuit, and her mother, a former civil defense attorney, decides to represent them. Anna refuses to budge on her position despite the fact that she clearly loves her sister and longs for her family's happiness. As the gripping court case builds, the story takes a shocking turn. Told in alternating perspectives by the engaging, fascinating cast of characters, Picoult's novel grabs the reader from the first page and never lets go. This is a beautiful, heartbreaking, controversial, and honest book. (Booklist)

*Starred Review* Expect to be kept up all night by Picoult's latest novel, but it's much more than a page-turner; it's a fascinating character study framed by a complex, gripping story. . . Told in alternating perspectives by the engaging, fascinating cast of characters, Picoult's novel grabs the reader from the first page and never lets go. This is a beautiful, heartbreaking, controversial, and honest book. (Booklist)

Picoult ably explores a complex subject with bravado and clarity, and comes up with a heart-wrenching, unexpected plot twist at the book's conclusion. (Publishers Weekly)

"Picoult's timely and compelling novel will appeal to anyone who has thought about the morality of medical decision making and any parent who must balance the needs of different children. Highly recommended." --Library Journal

'This astonishing novel is beautifully and thoughtfully written, and focuses on difficult moral choices.' -Good Housekeeping

"Picoult is known for writing fictional page-turners that address controversial issues, and her latest novel is no exception.... My Sister's Keeper is a thrill to read." --Washington Post

"My Sister's Keeper is a terrific book.... [It] is full of insight, inspiration and heartbreak." --San Jose Mercury News (California)

"My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult is the amazing, gut-wrenching, sad, funny, insightful, moving and thought-provoking story of this American family. This new novel is by far her best achievement and a leap forward in her literary oeuvre.... In a graceful portrait, masterfully written in high-pitched prose, Picoult raises the ethical, moral, constitutional, personal and mostly unanswerable questions about how anyone can make a life-or-death decision about a terminally ill loved one for whom extreme measures must be taken to play for more time. Where does the patient's right to stay alive infringe upon the life of someone else (in this case, a sister)?" -BookReporter.com

"My Sister's Keeper is a bravely topical novel." -The Advertiser (Australia)

"My Sister's Keeper has the emotional tenacity to fuel tears and talk as it becomes a book club must-read." -New York Daily News

"Picoult has a real gift for clear, straightforward prose, but she's also quite adept at creating unforced, natural-sounding dialogue." --The Kansas City Star

"My Sister's Keeper is a thrill to read." -Chicago Sun-Times

"Here, the author of Salem Falls and other works gives readers a thrilling and intelligent book that entertains, educates and addresses the medical, ethical and moral problems of a family engaged in the support of a terminally ill child.... It is difficult to find a book combining a timely moral dilemma with well-drawn characters for whom one cares. Picoult has written such a book." -The Boston Herald

"[My Sister's Keeper] skillfully examines life's most sacred relationships." -- Wisconsin State Journal (Madison, WI)

"With a strong, topical theme, Picoult gets into the heads of her well-developed characters." --The Daily Telegraph (Sydney, Australia)

'My Sister's Keeper is a real page-turner . . . The ethical issues of parents versus children and moral dilemmas of producing children to harvest them for the greater good seems an unlikely plot for a novel, but Picoult's storytelling skill meshes it all together into an absorbing and thought-provoking tear-jerker with a "wow" ending.' Daily News (New Plymouth, New Zealand)

'Picoult has hit upon a bioethical nerve and raises several provocative questions.' - Calgary Herald (Alberta, Canada)

"[Jodi Picoult] has created something of a trademark among her 10 other novels about mother-child relationships." --Courier Mail (Queensland, Australia)

"This one is not light reading, but Picoult, in her 11th novel, has the knack of holding her readers to the end." -Hartford Courant

'Author Jodi Picoult has been called a clairvoyant for choosing soon-to-be cutting edge topics for her novels. She hits a new societal nerve in My Sister's Keeper . . . compelling and believable.' - Richmond Times Dispatch

'[Jodi Picoult] vividly evokes the physical and psychic toll a desperately sick child imposes on a family, even a close and loving one like the Fitzgeralds... There may be no easy outcomes in a tale about individual autonomy clashing with a sibling's right to life, but Picoult thwarts our expectations in unexpected ways... a telling portrait of a profoundly stressed family.' --Kirkus Reviews

This beautifully crafted novel will grab readers with its stunning topic . . . the tightly woven tale seamlessly bounces from past to present . . . Picoult's style borders on the poetic (People Magazine)

'It is not every day that I thank Richard and Judy but I am indebted to their book club for bringing to my attention MY SISTER'S KEEPER . . . Picoult's rich characterisation means the Fitzgeralds become more than a fictional family. The scientific debate gets personal . . . MY SISTER'S KEEPER is emotionally riveting and will test your tear ducts to the limit - particularly the final, gut-wrenching twist . . . Picoult tackles a controversial subject head on with a sense of wisdom and sensitivity. If there's only one book you read this year, make it this one.' * * * * * review (Daily Express)

Very compelling. (Heat)

Gripping, thought-provoking, heart-breaking, MY SISTER'S KEEPER is a novel absolutely of our times. (Wrexham Leader)

A real tear-jerker...It's an absolutely wonderful book. (Sophie Anderson, Sunday Express)

The drama unfolds through the eyes of the main characters in a gripping, compulsive, intriguing read with a great ethical dilemma at its heart. (Stevenage Comet)

Terrific . . . bringing us these issues from the point of view of a 13 year old girl is a great idea (Dr John Marsden)

I loved it, I read it in two nights . . . Absolutely no argument is left unturned (Amanda Donahoe)

Fascinating and highly topical . . . I found it a real page turner . . . Every scene is powerful . . . A dramatic ending . . . shocking and made me cry (Richard Madeley)

Book Description

An astonishing, gripping, thought-provoking, at times almost unbearably moving novel about a family's love, by an international bestselling author never before published in the UK.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

123 of 124 people found the following review helpful By A. K. Davis VINE VOICE on 6 Mar 2005
Format: Paperback
I have only recently discovered Jodi Picoult, in fact the last book I read was The Pact written by her. I was so impressed by that book that I didn't believe this book could be as good; it was good to be proved wrong. From just these two books I think Jodi Picoult has jumped to the top of my favourite authors list. Like The Pact, the writing style is one that I haven't enjoyed in the past where each chapter is from the point of view of a different person or in a different time but which Jodi Picoult is proving is a useful tool to provide the full information for a story.
This story is also a gritty issue where the parents have a third child, genetically selected to be a donor for her sister with cancer. I've heard in the news about families who want to do this, but haven't really thought what happens beyond the birth of the child. Whereas this books takes you through that journey where Anna is repeatedly in hospitable throughout her thirteen years to provide donations for her sister. Her sister now needs a kidney and Anna has had enough.
Having finished the book I still don't know which side of the argument I stand on and when I think of the reactions of the characters they are so well written I honestly can't say I would behave any differently if I was in any of their positions.
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83 of 85 people found the following review helpful By H Pedder VINE VOICE on 29 April 2005
Format: Paperback
A short while ago, I was asked what my favourite 3 books ever were...because i've read so many books of differing genres I found this a difficult one...until I read this. Without doubt it's my number 1 book so far.
Following the harrowing and heart-breaking family life of Sara and Brian, whose son Jesse is a tearaway, daughter Kate has been diagnosed with terminal leukaemia and youngest daughter Anna - conceived through IVF to be a genetic match for her dying sister - has had enough. Since the second Anna was born she's donated blood, bone marrow and more to her sister without being consulted and the final straw is the assumption that she'll give up a kidney to Kate as a last grasp at saving her life. Anna's a teenage girl who's always lived in her sister's shadow, decides to take her parents to court, for the rights to her own body.
Each chapter is written from a different perspective, which adds to the depth and complexity of this book. One moment I was sympathising with Anna and feeling shock at her mother's apparent callousness and biased love. The next, I found myself crying at Sara's love for her daughters and her feelings of utter helplessness in such a desperate situation. Each viewpoint shows a different angle to this awful dilemma and gives the novel the fullness and credibility it needed to do it justice.
This is a contentious issue and always will be, and Picoult has depicted the harrowing decisions and predicaments faced by families like this with great sensitivity.
I usually, once engrossed in a book, fly through the pages in a bid to reach the end. However, with this, it was so beautifully written I lingered over every word.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Alison owen on 4 Nov 2006
Format: Hardcover
I've literally just finished this book and wanted to share how much I've enjoyed reading it. Enjoyed is perhaps the wrong word to choose in relation to such a difficult topic, but it was very hard to put down and I found myself thinking about when I could next get back to it!

I disagree with some of the other reviewers opinions regarding the ending, I think it was perfect, though heart breaking, I actually sobbed! It reflected the title brilliantly and echoed back to several of the themes used throughhout the book, giving a sense of closure and peace to a roller coaster of a read.

On one level the book is a simple story but I found that when Jodi Picoult stepped away from the basic narrative she really showed her skill. She manages to weave a beautiful, delicate, painful poignant tale that will stay with me for a long time. I don't feel like this review really does it justice! Highly recommended.
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58 of 60 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 11 Jun 2004
Format: Hardcover
I loved this book. I couldnt put it down, and it was very emotional. The chapters switch from being narrated by different characters in the story so you see all points of view. You go from agreeing with the character of Anna, that she should not be forced to go through so much pain and medical danger when her sister doesnt really want to keep going on anymore, to changing your mind when the mothers chapter comes around, thinking you would do anything to save your childs life.
Both my friend and I loved it - but beware, if you have an emotional bone in your body you will cry your eyes out in a couple of parts - DO NOT READ THE END OF THE BOOK ON THE TRAIN ON YOUR DAILY COMMUTE!!!
This is a great book - read it.
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130 of 137 people found the following review helpful By "greeneyedgracie" on 28 Jan 2005
Format: Paperback
I bought this book only because it was in the 3 for 2 sale at Waterstones, never having heard of it, or the author, before. Reading it got slightly uncomfortable at points - for one, the moral dilemma at the crux of the plot had me squirming because it's one of those situations you just don't wanna think about - secondly, characters take it in turn to narrate chapters, and though this generally works well, the fact they all use the same introspective reflective tone can get a bit eerie.
One review inside the cover says the book ends with a big twist, so I started trying to spot it from the start - no chance, it came totally out of nowhere. And when it finally turned up, it had me bawling my eyes out (I haven't cried at a book since I read "The Last Battle" (Chronicles of Narnia) at the age of about 8). Seriously, I cried for about 10 minutes, and I don't even have kids.
At the same time, the book isn't an emotional blackmail attempt using cliches as tear-jerkers, but simply, gently and originally written. It comments in a roundabout way on families, parenting, and growing up. I'm tempted to get hold of some more of the author's work, but I'm worried it won't live up to this one.
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