Monday, June 11, 2007

My Sister's Keeper

Late last night, I finished reading My Sister's Keeper by JodiPiccoult and, I'm man enough to admit, I was weeping like a baby. This was an extremely powerful book, one that I had trouble putting down.
On one level, it would seem to be a book about a bio-ethics dilemma. Kate Fitzgerald was diagnosed with an extremely rare form of leukemia at an early age. Her parents, desperate to treat her, are told that her best hope is if a sibling is available for donations. The problem is Kate's older brother, Jesse, isn't a match.
So Sara and Brian utilize the latest technology and have a matching sibling made. A few months later, Anna is born.
All her life, Anna has been used as a donor to treat Anna's disease. She's been poked, prodded, had blood and bone marrow taken from her. Finally, Kate suffers from kidney failure and her parents, her mother especially, believes that Anna will just naturally donate the kidney.
So Anna sues her parents for medical emancipation. The book tells the story of the week leading up to the emancipation hearing, what happens at the hearing, and beyond.
But this is more than just a bio-ethics book. Piccoult creates a rich tapestry in the Fitzegerald family, making each member of the family a unique character with their own problems. The dynamics of this family in perpetual crisis is fascinating and completely believable. I often found myself wondering what would happen if I were in their shoes.
It all builds up to an ending that literally left me crying for half an hour. It's that powerful and incredible. And best of all, I never saw it coming.
Pick up this book. You need to read it.

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