7 Feb 2012

Jodi Picoult - My Sister's Keeper and other books

Today I promised myself I will try to finish reading the Jodi Picoult I got last month. It's called My Sister's Keeper and I have already read it half way. However Jodi Picoult often makes me feel slightly depressed and I tend to ask myself a lot of questions even after I have read the book. Normally the stories pull at your heart strings - there are so many issues that are often controversial. LIke her other book that I read early last year Handle With Care, about a child born with severe osteogenesis or brittle bones.
I could never read her books all in one go - it needs digesting and you need to take a break in between reading to avoid being pulled into the story with all its pain and questions that are not answered. I first read Jodi Picoult's  Vanishing Acts sometime in 2003 - about a girl who had been kidnapped by her father and told that her mother had died. Told from the viewpoint of the child who had been kidnapped, now a young woman, it is poignant and questions the ambiguity of love and lying. In Handle With care the young couple who gave birth to the child with Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI) struggle to cope with bringing up a daughter who could break so easily, so much so that they are also accused of abusing their own child and taken to court by the police who believe that the signs of broken bones in their child's xrays were caused by abuse.

In this book, My Sister's Keeper, a young couple again finds out that their two year old daughter has a rare form of leukemia, and the only way she can be saved is if they purposely had another daughter with the same blood group. And so Anna, the younger daughter was conceived to help keep Kate alive. Anna would donate her bone marrow to Kate and the young couple would have two beautiful daughters instead of one sick one.

However when Anna grows up she  decides she no longer wants to donate her bone marrow, she wants to retain control of her own body. Is she wrong to want to do so? There are so many moral issues here - should her mother force her to go through all the painful procedures of extracting bone marrow just so another child could be saved. FRom the little that I had read I find that I liked Anna as compared to the mild and timid Kate. Anna has spunk and is a vibrant character with a mind of her own. She remembers being poked and prodded even as young as three, donating her bone marrow, and lying down in the hospital bed as often as Kate is sick. Its almost as if it is she who is sick , and yet their mother is always pampering and worried about Kate. It is kate who gets all the attention and the sympathy, so much so that I felt that Anna is just a body that is being used to keep Kate alive.

I stopped reading just to get some perspective and also because I was quite upset. Hopefully I will finish it late this week.


♥●• İzdihër •●♥ said...

I haven't read any of Jodi Picoult's book.

naida said...

I hope to read Jodi Picoult soon myself.
these all sound like emotional and htought provoking reads! I think I will read My Sisters Keeper and Vanishing Acts after what you mention here.

Espana said...

My Sister's Keeper is a book that once you pick up you cannot put down and the messages are strong, impacting and meaningful. Anyone who knows family love and sacrifice will strongly relate to the characters, plot and feelings touched on. Although it was much more surprising than I expected, it is a book I will never forget.