123 of 124 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How far should we go?
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...
Published on 6 Mar. 2005 by A. K. Davis
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An engrossing topic spoiled by the writing
I've enjoyed several of Jodi Picoult's other books and find it hard to believe that the author of excellent House Rules wrote 'My Sister's Keeper'. The latter like the former involves a serious subject, in this case, the creation of an embryo that will become a child who can provide donations of cells and more, to help keep a sibling alive. The story and the effects on...
Published on 4 Feb. 2011 by Bluebell
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123 of 124 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How far should we go?,
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.
83 of 85 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome, inspiring and beautifully written.,
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. Picoult's descriptive prose invokes such potent images and there are snippets in here, so simple in their metaphors or similes, that made me stop and think about my life and how fortunate I really am.
I went into this with no expectations - I read The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebould and anticipated a torrent of tears which never actually came. Well they did with this - I found myself completely moved by this beautifully written book.
Not only is the storyline gripping - right to the last page - but the prose is quality. Not a book to read if you're after a barrel of laughs (although I did chuckle at the lawyer sometimes! There is humour in dark places, after all) but a thought-provoking, heart-breaking, truly wonderful novel.
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling and thoughtful.,
This review is from: My Sister's Keeper: A Novel (Picoult, Jodi) (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.
58 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful and emotional book,
By A Customer
This review is from: My Sister's Keeper: A Novel (Large Print Edition) (Picoult, Jodi (Large Print)) (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.
130 of 137 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A lovely surprise of a book,
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.
54 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding read,
I, like many others before me, bought this book to fill up the '3 for 2' offer from Waterstones. However, unlike my first two choices ('The American Boy' and 'Snobs: A Novel'), this one managed to captivate me, drawing me into its web of moral dilemmas and familial issues.
The plot is doubtless one which has been addressed in many books of medical and legal ethics, and having read it, I can certainly see why. The issue about genetically selecting a child in embryonic form is one which has caused, and will continue to cause many debates surrounding it. However, 'My Sister's Keeper' goes beyond the initial stages of concern (it's morally unfair on the remaining embyros that die a cruel death in a petri dish...), addressing the questions that arise for a thirteen year old girl. Did her parents actually want her? What about the miracle of creation? Things I had never considered, such as the answers a parent would give when their genetically selected child asks "where babies come from".
And then the question of medical emancipation. This novel is based in the USA, where people are not under the obligation to help any other living being (makes you wonder, doesn't it?), and due to this clause in the American constitution, children are allowed to seek medical emancipation from their parents. My first thoughts were that the protagonist was being remarkably selfish in refusing to help her older sister Kate, a sufferer of a severe form of leukemia. That was until Anna's childhood was outlined - the endless donations, starting with her umbilical cord at birth, through bone marrow transplants, and finally, the wish for a kidney from Anna. An intial sceptic, I found myself sympathising more and more with the thirteen year old Anna, who has finally decided to hire an attorney (the amusing Campbell Alexander) and sue her parents.
'My Sister's Keeper' would have to be nominated for some form of literary prize, least of all for the moral questions which it raises. By the end of the book, I was confused, upset (to do with the unusual twist at the end), to some extent angry, yet satisfied that I had read it, as this is going to be one of the books that everyone's talking about before long.
39 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The most beautiful but saddest book I have ever read!,
I cried on the bus twice reading this book (and I rarely cry, it was very embarrassing). Because the book is written from the perspective of all the different characters the reader is able to relate to each individual's feelings and see how these can clash with one another, without anyone really being in the wrong. You understand the desperate attempts of Anna and Kate's parents to try and keep Kate alive. It is also possible to understand the frustration of both Jesse and Anna as the 'un-sick' and therefore unseen. However, throughout the novel it never makes total sense that Anna is refusing to donate anything more, as Jodi Picoult makes a point of highlighting the deep bond between the sisters, this explained in the shocking and emotional twist at the end. The novel was absolutley 'un-put-downable' and I would recommend to anyone not afraid of a good cry.
102 of 108 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heart-wrenching,
I wasn't sure what to expect from this book but had heart a few people talk about it so I bought it from Amazon. It's a heart-breaking novel that had me in tears on quite a few occasions.
Kate is diagnosed with lukemia at age 2 and her parents decide to have a 'designer' baby, Anna, who they hope will save Kate from the certain death. Within hours of being born Anna has donated stem cells from her umbilicle cord....the first of many procedures. Thirteeen yrs later Annas body is still being used to keep her sister alive. This is when Anna decides to fight for the right to have control of her own body.
The twist at the end came out of nowhere and had me in tears yet again.
Its a very thought-provoking book which questions the morals behind 'designer' babies. I defy anyone to read this book and not get a lump in their throat.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant,
This was the first Jodi Picoult book that I have read and I have very impressed. I found this book very well written, well researched and very moving. I have a child myself who has had chemotherapy (although she didn't have cancer, thankfully), but being in hospital with children with leukemia and seeing what they and their parents go through, it was a story really close to my heart. The ending was very unexpected, as many other people have said, and it was the first book to ever make me cry.
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars amazing,
After reading The Pact, I came across My Sister's Keeper in a shop by chance, and bought it to read on the train back and foth to work. To put it simply - I wasn't dissapointed.
I've read several of Jodi Picoult's books now and My Sister's Keeper is the one I always return to.
It focuses on Anna, a teenager who as well as coping with aspects of life that all teenagers do, she also has the small matter of a court case to deal with as she sues her parents for the rights to her own body.
It's written in a way that you can identify with both Anna and her parents, her sister Kate, and to feel sorry for her brother Jesse who is tangled in the whole mess.
Jodi Picoult has an interesting way of writing. The book is told in first person by each main character in turn, and we are shown flashbacks of what life was like before the whole. Sublots such as the possible romance between Anna's lawyer Campbell and her social worker/guardian Julia.
All this leads up to a twist of an ending, that unless you have a heart of stone, will leave you in tears.
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My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult (Paperback - 20 Mar. 2008)
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