Let’s Take a Moment: My Sister’s Keeper

my-sisters-keeperBefore I begin this blog post let me just say one thing: I don’t like lessons in stories. I’m strictly a romance reader and I don’t like learning anything besides words. So stating this, I don’t particularly like Jodi Picoult mainly because of this reason. Then a co-worker and a classmate of mine told me about My Sister’s Keeper. I’d seen the movie and loved it but they had told me that the book was completely different than the movie, so I chose to check this book out and read it.

“It’s about a girl who is on the cusp of becoming someone… A girl who may not know what she wants right now, and she may not know who she is right now, but who deserves the chance to find out.” -Campbell Alexander

Let me begin by saying….WOW! This book is probably one of my favorites as of now. I will admit I did find it hard to like Sara, the mother, in the book. The book started out great and somehow drew me in. I already knew the synopsis of the story but for some reason Picoult’s writing just kept me entrapped and entertained. Not only did she include Anna’s point of view but everyone else’s and their back story.

Anna is thirteen in the beginning of this book and she’s selling a locket her father had given her. Her sister, Kate, has cancer and her brother, Jesse, is a troublemaker. Of course, with Kate having cancer all things center around her. Anna herself was conceived to be a donor for Kate. So throughout the book, we learn just how often Anna has been a donor for Kate and the tumultuous actions of these characters as they try to understand Kate’s illness. The story focuses on Anna’s fight for the medical right of her own body because they want Anna to give her kidney to Kate. So, enter Campbell Alexander and Julia. Campbell is the lawyer who decides to help Anna pro-bono and Julia is Campbell’s high school sweetheart and ad-litem (a person who represents a child who cannot represent themselves and decides the right course of action for them). They both decide to help Anna as they solve their own crisis.

“If you have a sister and she dies, do you stop saying you have one? Or are you always a sister, even when the other half of the equation is gone?”- Anna Fitzgerald

This isn’t a story about the selfishness of a thirteen-year-old or the fact that she wants attention. This is a story that shows you selflessness and sacrifice in its purest form.

We see the story from all different points of views. From Brian’s (the father) to Julia’s and in doing so, Picoult has not only helped us understand the Fitzgerald family and the supporting characters but cancer and what it does to a family. As I stated above, I didn’t like Sara, mainly because it seemed like she was devoting herself to Kate and neglecting her other children. Then again, I do not have a child dying of cancer or any children to be exact.

The movie and the book are more different than any book turned movie I’ve ever seen. I felt as if they told two completely different stories. As always the book went more in depth with the Fitzgerald’s but not only did the movie change the climax but it changed the ending, and that’s not okay!

“There should be a statute of limitation on grief. A rule book that says it is all right to wake up crying, but only for a month. That after 42 days you will no longer turn with your heart racing, certain you have heard her call out your name. That there will be no fine imposed if you feel the need to clean out her desk; take down her artwork from the refrigerator; turn over a school portrait as you pass – if only because it cuts you fresh again to see it. That it’s okay to measure the time she has been gone, the way we once measured her birthdays.” – Anna Fitzgerald


The author vividly evokes the physical and psychic toll a desperately sick child imposes on a family, even a close and loving one like the Fitzgeralds… there can be no easy outcomes in a tale about individual autonomy clashing with a sibling’s right to life, but Picoult thwarts out expectations in unexpected ways… a telling portrait of a profoundly stressed family.

-Kirkus Reviews



“I learn from my own daughter that you don’t have to be awake to cry.” – Sara Fitzgerald