By Jodi Picoult
Published by Washington Square Press
Okay, so probably everyone already knows what this one is about because you've all seen the previews for the made-for-the-big-screen movie, so I'll keep my summary short. Young parents find out their very young daughter has leukemia. Brother is not a match for a bone marrow transplant, so parents go to a genetic specialist and conceive a "donor" sibling.....a perfect match with the genetic markers required to be a good donor. Flash forward to the young parents, now the parents of three teenagers, including middle child still suffering recurring bouts of leukemia, and youngest daughter who has undergone numerous medical procedures over the years to keep her sister alive.
But now, all of a sudden, young Anna has had enough. She is ready to call it quits. She doesn't want to be a donor anymore.....and hires a lawyer to make sure she doesn't have to.
In case you haven't seen the movie (or haven't read past the first two chapters of the book), I won't be a spoilsport and tell you the rest of the story or how it ends. But here are my thoughts:
This was a scary book to read. As a parent, it is my worst nightmare to be in the situation these poor parents found themselves in. There were many times while reading it that I had to just put it down for awhile because I couldn't stop the tears. However, it was an extremely well-told story and I felt like Picoult did an outstanding job of really digging in to the lose-lose situation that this family found themselves in. I did feel some sense of an "ick" factor in the book, just simply because the topic is so utterly controversial and unsolveable. With this situation, there was really no good outcome possible.
I usually avoid any cancer-themed books and I did know the premise before I started reading it, but I figured if it was good enough to make into a movie, it was probably a pretty dang good book and worth the emotional thrashing! And it was. "My Sister's Keeper" truly was a heart-wrenching story, but I came out of it with hugs for my family and appreciation for what I have.
I don't think I'll see the movie, though. The emotions in the book were raw enough and I wouldn't want to spoil it by having it simplified into a two-hour retelling.