Thursday, July 8, 2010

My Sister's Keeper

I saw the movie for My Sister's Keeper back in January.  After seeing it, I was hesitant to read the book.  I had heard the endings for each were different, so I figured I'd give it a shot.  After finishing the book, I'm SO happy I decided to read it.  I also think it's safe to say I liked the book much better than the movie.

Cover: I love Picoult's simple yet expressive covers. After reading multiple books from her in a row, I definitely see a pattern. What I love most about the cover choices is that the images don't give everything away. There's enough there to convey a message but enough missing to allow the reader to form their own expectations and thoughts.

Characters: The characters in this story were well-developed. Each member of a family has his or her own roles, and these roles can become even more clearly defined when families experience difficulties like chronic illness. Picoult did a wonderful job illustrating how each member of the Fitzgerald clan expected certain behaviors and responses from each other. Sara was expected to be the glue holding everything and everyone together. Brian went through the actions but wasn't as devoted as Sara. Kate was expected to get better, to beat the odds. Anna was expected to give everything she had to make sure her sister lived. Jesse was expected to stay behind the scenes and under the radar. This was how the family operated for years, and when part of their machine started working differently, they found themselves in unfamiliar territory.

Writing: I always enjoy how Picoult writes from the characters' differing perspectives. I think this gives so much more depth to the story. We all see things differently and have different ideas for what leads to certain circumstances. It only seems right that a good story would address these multiple views.

Plot: I've mentioned before how much I enjoy the way Picoult takes a topic that may be difficult to chew and twists it into a story that humanizes it and makes it much more palatable for the general public. Her books make me think. She makes me put myself into the characters' shoes and question my own courses of action. Would I have done the same things as Sara Fitzgerald in trying to save my child, or would I have recognized my child's need to make a decision? Ultimately, I think the story is not about Anna's right to choose what medical procedures she has. I think the story is about Kate's right to choose. She endured so much in her short time and all at the urging of her mother.  Picoult did an amazing job with the genius plot twist at the end of the book.  I definitely was not expecting the book to end that way.

Overall: 5/5  Picoult never disappoints me!  This was one of my favorite books by her.

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