I finished the book last Friday and I am glad I waited a week to blog about it. When I finished listening to it, I wanted to chuck the book out of my car. Thank god that I realized that the book belongs to the library. Now that should tell you how I felt about the novel. I think I am calmer about the book.
Anna is not sick, but she might as well be. By age thirteen, she has undergone countless surgeries, transfusions, and shots so that her older sister, Kate, can somehow fight the leukemia that has plagued her since childhood. The product of preimplantation genetic diagnosis, Anna was conceived as a bone marrow match for Kate - a life and a role that she has never questioned… until now. Like most teenagers, Anna is beginning to question who she truly is. But unlike most teenagers, she has always been defined in terms of her sister - and so Anna makes a decision that for most would be unthinkable… a decision that will tear her family apart and have perhaps fatal consequences for the sister she loves. My Sister's Keeper examines what it means to be a good parent, a good sister, a good person. Is it morally correct to do whatever it takes to save a child's life… even if that means infringing upon the rights of another? Is it worth trying to discover who you really are, if that quest makes you like yourself less?
The story is told from various points of views. Chapters shuffle between characters. Anna is the main character (which is obvious from the synopsis). She is a typical 13-year-old girl, who is unsure most of the time. At the same time having dealt with a sick sibling, she is mature for her age. Then there is the sick sibling, Kate. She is not given a voice in the novel; thus, it is harder to judge her. There is an older brother, Jesse. At times, I felt that he is just hungry for attention, which is definitely present in the novel, but at the same time, it is his way of dealing with a sick sister. He cannot be a donor for Kate, which frustrates him. Then there are the parents, Brian and Sara. Brian is a firefighter and is closer to Anna. His character is bearable. Sara, on the other hand, is irritating. She is manipulative. I felt like at times Sara did not see Anna as her daughter but only as a savior of Kate.
Beside the Fitzgerald family, there is Campbell Alexander, the lawyer, and Julia Romano, guardian ad litem. Campbell has a service dog but does not explain why until later. His explanations for having a service dog bring comedy relief to the book. Julia is Campbell's ex-girlfriend and readers can easily see what will happen to them.
The book started out good. The story is captivating from the start. I liked how each situation is presented from different point of views. I wish Picoult had given a voice to Kate because I feel she is very important to the story. At the same time, I understand why Kate's character had to be mute in order for the story to build. Just like everyone else, I am not happy with the ending. I felt betrayed when I listened to it, but now I am somewhat okay about it. I still wish Picoult had taken a different route. I got teary-eyed twice during the book.
The audio book is read by various artists, where each character is represented by one. I liked that because I think it would have been difficult for one reader to present so many characters. Having various artists read the book definitely added to my likeness of the book.
I would give this book 7.5/10 for two reasons. One reason is Sara Fitzgerald and the second is the ending.