This week’s featured book:
My Sister's Keeper
Author: Jodi Picoult
Anna is not sick, but she might as well be. By age thirteen, she has undergone countless surgeries, transfusions, and shots so that her older sister, Kate, can somehow fight the leukemia that has plagued her since childhood. The product of preimplantation genetic diagnosis, Anna was conceived as a bone marrow match for Kate—a life and a role that she has never challenged...until now.
Like most teenagers, Anna is beginning to question who she truly is. But unlike most teenagers, she has always been defined in terms of her sister—and so Anna makes a decision that for most would be unthinkable, a decision that will tear her family apart and have perhaps fatal consequences for the sister she loves.
When I first started this book, I thought indignantly that 13-year-old Anna has every right to decide what is done to her body medically, and that no parent should conceive a child simply to keep another one alive. But as the story, which is told from the viewpoint of all members of the family, progressed I began to have doubts about where I really stand on this issue.
I wanted to side with Anna and liberate her from the burden of being a medical object that the doctors constantly plugged her sister into just as much as I wanted her sick sister, Kate, who hadn’t lived a normal life since the age of two, to stay alive. But did I want it at Anna’s expense? Was it fair to demand of a young girl to make those sacrifices? Was it even her responsibility? And as a mother, how would I handle it? Would I have readily conceived a child to save another? Or would I simply have found it immoral and just let the sick toddler die?
What I discovered is that if I’m having so much trouble deciding what the right thing to do is in a fictional setting, what would I do if this was my reality? And is there really a right choice? In this novel, you will see all aspects of the dilemma, and you will meet people that, although not perfect, have the best intentions at heart. And in a world that is not always black and white, but shades of grey, where do you really stand?