A review by giuliana_ferrari
My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult

dark emotional reflective sad tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes


This book is an interesting ethical discussion on the implications of engineering a baby to serve as your child's donor. And although the borderline obsessive reasonings from the mother of the dying child are exposed in subtle and not so subtle moments, I felt like the author didn't want to take it as far as agreeing that Sara was in fact a bad mother. The road to hell is paved with good intentions, but both mother and father made it clear throughout the book their terrible choices that led 
Spoilerto a young man becoming an arsonist
  and a younger child becoming nothing more than a petri dish to save the other sister's life. No matter how strongly they tried to defend themselves in their narratives, they neglected their older child for the sake of the sick one and literally designed a baby to serve a specific purpose.  That's why I'm so bothered by the ending:
SpoilerAnna dies so Kate can live, and suddenly the mother is all grieving and suffering and wishing she could have Anna back, although she slapped her child for suing them and ignored and neglected her son
. Although I understand their situation was a terrible, unpredictable, emotionally exhausting one,  the family basically gave me a crash course in what not to do when you have more than one child and one is severely ill. And in all of this the author seemed content in defending the parents and voicing that a mother would do anything for their child, even if that means being a terrible parent. On and all the book could have gone to a deeper discussion of morals and rights of choice, but instead focused a bit too much on the soap-opera moments of cancer devastating a white middle-class family with religious undertones. Am I being unsympathetic? Maybe. But it could have been much more.

Expand filter menu Content Warnings