#18 - My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult
I was surprised by this book. I was all ready for a totally depressing read, but I enjoyed this book so much I couldn't put it down.
Kate Fitzgerald is 16 and has a rare form of leukemia. Her parents planned the birth of her younger sister Anna in order for Kate to have a matching donor for blood and bone marrow. In her 13 years, Anna has undergone multiple procedures to help keep her sister alive. When it comes down to donating a kidney to her weakened and dying sister, Anna draws the line and files a lawsuit for medical emancipation from her family.
The point of view bounces back and forth between family members and others involved as the lawsuit and Kate's illness progresses. But it's not a formula dying child/grieving family story. Picolut's story is a realistic mix of all emotions, and gives a realistic look into the life of a family totally immersed in the illness of a child.
The moral and ethical questions behind genetic planning, using one child to treat another's medical problems, and the medical rights of children really make this a thought provoking book. As a parent, it was hard to think what I might do in the same circumstances. On the one hand, it would be very difficult to have a terminally ill child....but it would also be difficult to justify repeated medical procedures on a healthy younger sibling to prolong the life of the ill child.
It's a very thought provoking book, and an absorbing story. I couldn't put the book down. I read it in a day because I just had to know what happened.
And when it was all over, I closed the book and all I could say was "wow....''
"My Sister's Keeper'' is a great mix of emotions and moral/ethical questions, without being overly melodramatic or depressing, as some similar books are. This is not an Oprahesque book, if you get my meaning. I definitely recommend it.