Review: My Sister’s Keeper

Holy Shit.

That”s got to be the summary of my review of My Sister”s Keeper by Jodi Picoult. I cried through at least half this book. I literally would just sit with tears steaming down my cheeks because I couldn’t or wouldn’t close my eyes even to squeeze the tear ducts shut.

This book would have hit me hard no matter what, but it definitely held a special twinge in my heart every time my son squirmed while I was reading. Every time he shifted in his sleep while I watch him. Every time I try not to imagine the horrible things that my anxiety-riddled brain likes to come up with.

Anna is a protagonist in this story. The third child with an eldest brother and middle sister. Three years younger than her big sister. This mirrors my own life, Everything else might be different, but there are echos of familiarity. Older sisters tend to be a force in younger sisters’ lives. As a teenager it’s frustrating to figure out who you are when you see an older sister in front of you who sometimes seems to dominate the view.

Kate, Anna”s older sister, has leukemia, A rare, aggressive breed. This dominates her family’s life – including Anna who has given blood and marrow to help keep Kate alive over the past thirteen years.

I don’t normally enjoy books that try to explore “the human condition” (I might still hold a grudge against The Prince of Tides), but this is one I would heartily recommend. There were so many layers of emotion in this book. No character is entirely “good” and no character is “bad” – they are human and beautifully portrayed. So often when authors are exploring the unhappy side of humanity I think they forget that bad people sometimes do good things and good people do bad things. For all the right and wrong reasons.