Title: My Sister's Keeper
Author: Jodi Picoult
Publisher: Atria Books, 2004
Written more in the style of a movie than a book, My Sister's Keeper outlines the story of a family torn apart and drawn back together by their decisions in supporting a child with an acute form of leukemia.
The story is told from multiple points of view, but it is mostly about Anna, the youngest of three children who was conceived in order to be a bone marrow donor for her sister Kate, who suffers said leukemia.
Anna, 13, decides she wants medical emancipation from her parents - and informs them of this by filing a law suit. It isn't clear, until the final pages of the book, just why Anna files the law-suit originally, as we, the reader, are only given opinions of those surrounding Anna, she herslef never divulges the reasoning behind her decision.
This book touches on many issues, but central to the plot - should society allow parents to decide whether or not one child should become a donor for another, sick, sibling?
I believe that the characters presented, within Anna's family are all believable. Jesse (brother) and Anna clearly show the effects of being neglected, in an emotional sense, by their parents, especially the mother, who are entirely focused on having three healthy children, ie. dedicating most of their time to Kate (although i think Brian, the father, is not so much guilty of this as the mother. He appears more in-touch with the states of all his children and the mother's clear 'writing-off' of Jesse is depressing in the fact that it is so common amongst youth of my generation who are misunderstood and get caught up in drugs and other bad practices).
To me, the characters presented outside the family, Julia and Campbell, diminish the quality of the rest of the book as they are much harder to believe. Their sub-plot does add some much needed distraction from the times within the book when Sara, the mother - and easily the most unlikeable character - is talking from her viewpoint.
All in all, this book is a fabulous read that touches on some of the hottest topics relevant in today's society from IVF and genetic engineering to just how much can a parent control their child?