Saturday, September 12, 2009

My Sister's Keeper

I am currectly reading My Sister's Keeper by author Jodi Picoult. It is now a current movie starring Cameron Diaz.
Here are some of the book synopsis and book reviews:

"Anna was born with one purpose in mind - to be a donor for her older sister Kate, who was diagnosed with terminal leukemia at age 2. Now, at 13, Anna sues her parents for the rights to her own body - at the risk of losing her sister. The ensuing battle, both within the family and within the courtroom, shakes the concept of family to the very core, and calls into question the term "good parenting.""
, Resident Scholar

"Anna Fitzgerald was genetically designed, conceived, and born to be the perfect genetic match for her sister, Kate. Kate suffers from a rare form of childhood leukemia and will die without blood and bone marrow transfusions from Anna. At 13, when her sister now needs a kidney, Anna has had enough. She hires an attorney and sues her parents for the rights to her own body. As her case works its way through the byzantine legal system, things at home fall apart for Anna and her family. Anna recalls both the loving memories of her sister as well as holidays, parties, and activities sacrificed so she could be hospitalized to donate. Their father, a firefighter and part time stargazer, is torn between the competing needs of his children. Their mother, an attorney who retired when she had children, struggles to hold the family together and keep Kate alive at all costs."
Jennifer Martin-Romme, Resident Scholar

"Anna Fitzgerald was definitely not a mistake. She was especially designed from her parents genes to provide a match for her elder sister Kate's rare blood type. Kate has Leukemia, and when Anna was young she donated bone marrow to help with the treatment. Soon however, it was more marrow, blood, stem cells and now, when she is thirteen her parents want her kidney.

The book jumps straight into the story where Anna begins to fight against her parents control, and adamantly against giving Kate her kidney she convinces a lawyer to take her case against her parents - she is suing them for the rights to her own body.

The plot follows Anna's family's struggle, not only within the legal system but the emotional trials they all must now face; her parents struggle to understand Anna's motives, as Anna seems also to do at times. At thirteen years old Anna rebels against her parents in one of the most heart wrenching ways possible for both parties, and in particular her alienation of her mother causes all sorts of difficulties within the family. A well-rounded story, more emphasis is placed on the family side of Anna's battle with the underlying influence of Jesse, the girls' older brother who has been slightly neglected, and perhaps due to the strain of having two frequently hospitalised sisters has become delinquient and isolated.

Interestingly, Kate does not seem to voice much opinion about Anna's choice to deny her sister a life-saving organ, which adds to the intrigue of the legal battle. Anna's relationship with her lawyer is at times one-sided, as she begins to increasingly rely upon him, and he gets frustrated as he begins to feel like a babysitter. He does however recognize the influence of her controlling mother, and puts her under the care of a legal guardian, which naturally strains family relationships further.

Anna's case finally reaches the court, but her battle is far from over. More emotional manipulation and typical insecurities follow, as she stands up for herself in a world of adults. "

Jessica Charlton, Resident Scholar


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