I had just finished reading My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult. And I have to say, I have read lots of books in the past few months, but this one blows me away completely. It’s one hell of a journey, and I enjoy every seconds of it. I shed buckets of tears while reading this one. It does a good job of keeping me on tenterhook, and just when I thought I had all of it figured out, it does a crazy wild turn out of nowhere, leaving me disoriented for a while. It’s a gemstone that I have long been hoping to discover.
I have read a lot of books, and while some leave me hanging for more(if it’s a series, or trilogy or whatever it is that means it’s not a standalone novel), and some leave me completely happy and satisfied with the story,(yes, even the sad and filled-with- tragedy-kind-of-novels); there are some story that makes me go, ”WTF, story?” and not in a good kind of way, though I still makes an effort to finish it even if it makes me cursed all the way; and some that I just don’t bothered finishing because I really can’t stand getting annoyed with the story or the characters. Fortunately, this book win the spot in the happy and satisfied category(yes, even when it makes me cried my hearts out). Jodi has once again produces a masterpiece.
I might have read other novels by Picoult, but I only remembered “Nineteen Minutes”, another one of her novels that I considered as a masterpiece. She writes stories about something that is ordinary and happened in real life, but she manages to tell the story that happened behind the scenes and makes it so beautiful and poignant at the same time. In My Sister’s Keeper, it tells the story of a girl that is suffering from leukemia, and how her family goes through the ordeal in order to keep her alive.
It all starts with Anna filing for a lawsuit against her parents to achieved medical emancipation. We learn that Anna does not want to donate her kidney to Kate, her sister who is suffering from leukemia. From there, we are presented with the thoughts of each character in their voiceover from their respective point of views alternately. We met Jesse, the pyromaniac older brother; Brian, the firefighter father; Sara, the struggling mother; Campbell, the lawyer that Anna turns to for help; Julie, the guardian ad litem assigned to Anna; Kate, the leukemia-suffering sister; and of course, Anna, the main protagonist of this story, the girl who ‘supposedly’ refused to donate her kidney to her sick sister.
At first, I had thought I understood the reasons why Anna doesn’t want to donate her kidney and resort to filing a lawsuit against her parents in order to achieve it. I felt that Anna was feeling like she was always second best to Kate; that her parents, especially her mom; always makes Kate their first priority. I also thought that Anna felt that it’s not fair that her parents always dictate that she donate something of hers to Kate, without even considering on how she felt about it. It also doesn’t help that Anna was conceived using IVF , with her genetic traits’ being similar to Kate’s so that she could be the perfect donor for Kate. I also kind of dislike her mother because in my opinion, she always thought of Kate first before Anna. So I understand where Anna is coming from.
Man, I could not have been more wrong. It happens when Anna finally agreed to testify in the courts trial(where I might add, her mom is the opposing council). You could imagine my shock(and her mom’s, as well as all the other characters’) when Anna finally admitted to being influenced by her sister, KATE, to filed a lawsuit against giving her the kidney. I imagine her mom must be crushed to realize that after all of her efforts to save her daughter, she found out in court, no less that the daughter she wanted to save actually just wanted to give up and die.
So then, you could imagine how very shocked I am AGAIN when Anna died in an accident, while her sister, Kate lives because she got Anna’s kidney, after all. Double shocks in just ten minutes. The daughter that you expected to die lives, while the one that you did not die.
On the side notes, there’s also this history between Campbell and Julie, and the big mystery around the dog, ’Judge’ that Campbell keeps beside him. As it turns out, I don’t think the reason for why Campbell left Julie years ago and tried to keep his distance from her because ‘it’s for her own good’ thingy is strong enough. I mean, to me, it’s a shitty excuse. But maybe it’s a male ego thing, to suffer in silence without ever letting the girl knows how much it kills you to not be with her; or maybe he is just a noble idiot.
Anyway, this story explores the hardship that the family of cancer patients has to undergo. It explores the bond within a family. But more importantly, it focuses on the bond between sisters that will never go away, even if one no longer lives. Anna actually was ready to give her kidney to her sister, it’s Kate who doesn’t want to burden her sister any longer. And Anna goes through Kate’s request to file a lawsuit preventing her from donating her kidney to Kate, even when in the process, her mom becomes angry at her because in her mind, Anna doesn’t care about Kate’s wellbeing. It makes me think about my own sisters, both of whom I haven’t seen in a longtime. I understand the bond between Kate and Anna. I myself am closed with both of my sisters, and God forbid, I couldn’t imagine it if one of my sister died. My life would certainly change, that’s for sure. I called both of them more than I called my own parents. They are my best friends, the one I shared my stories with, even the embarrassing ones. I wheedled money from my eldest sister lots of times(though nowhere near the amount my youngest sister wheedles out of her) since she’s the only one of us that is working. They both are my pillar of strength.
This novel makes me appreciate having both of them around, even if they sometimes annoy me(if you guys are reading this, that never happens, at all ;P). And I certainly can tell you this, the bond between sisters is immortal and imperishable, (though it may strained a little during certain times)no matter how much you wished it to be.