Anna is not sick, but she might as well be. By age 13, 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.
My Sister's Keeper examines what it means to be a good parent, a good sister, a good person. Is it morally correct to do whatever it takes to save a child's life, even if that means infringing upon the rights of another? Is it worth trying to discover who you really are, if that quest makes you like yourself less? Should you follow your own heart, or let others lead you? Once again, in My Sister's Keeper, Jodi Picoult tackles a controversial real-life subject with grace, wisdom, and sensitivity.
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©2004 Jodi Picoult; (P)2004 Recorded Books
A Richard and Judy Book Club selection.
"Picoult ably explores a complex subject with bravado and clarity, and comes up with a heart-wrenching, unexpected plot twist at the book's conclusion." (Publishers Weekly)
"A complex, gripping story....A beautiful, heartbreaking, controversial, and honest book. (Booklist)
My wife was reading this book, so I decided I would listen to what she was reading. Now this is not the sort of book I would normally read - I like sci-fi and fantasy.
Wow, after the initial chapters I was hooked. This book is beautifully written. It really works as a narrated text. Each chapter is written from the perspective of one of the characters, and so is narrated by different people, this makes it incredibly easy to follow. Empathy for each character flows unstoppably as you listen. A very strong ending ties things up tightly, leaving you rolling the events of the main characters life through your head - a must listen.
absolutely amazing gripping story. I had never heard of Jodi picoult before but now she is one of my favourite authors my sisters keeper is especially amazing just when you think you have it all figured out your wrong i definately recomend this i LOVED IT
This is the story of Anna who was born to help her sister live. There are many twists and turns along the way as well as surprises. The story is told from the point of view of the different characters in the story. I needed a box full of tissues to get through the book! It is really wonderful. (Review by Simon's wife)
My first Jodi Picoult book. Recommended by a friend and she was right - I loved it! Keeps you hooked and interested in what's going to happen next, all the way through it. Excellent!
Jodi's books are excellent as audiobooks. Reading a paperback is sometimes an off-putting experience if too much of an ethical and moral dilemma is introduced. Her stories rely on portraying this sort of thing, and although there is always a great story, there is also much more factual detail than in other books around the topic/issue at stake. For this reason, hearing it as if on a radio programme by people who have thought about it (the protagonists!) makes the experience totally alive and riveting. Another excellent and worthwhile purchase. Another five stars.
This is the story of parents who will do anything to keep their beloved daughter alive. In this endeavor, they decide to have another child but this one is genetically altered to be an exact match for their sick daughter. This means they can use the umbilical blood to treat her, putting her into remission. The second, genetically modified daughter spends her life thus far, donating tissue to her sister, to save her life, time and time again until she finally decides she cannot do it any more. She takes her parents to court.
It's a fascinating story, asking the reader to think about their choices, their actions if in the same position. The characters are well written and the descriptive narrative is rich and colourful. The use of first person for each main character is effective in giving all the differing points of view on a very complex and difficult situation. The climax of the story is heart wrenching and I admit to sobbing as I listened.
This audio book is very well presented by multiple readers and I thoroughly recommend it.
This is not an author I would normally choose to read, but I heard her interviewed on Womans Hour talking about this book and it remained with me, as a possible read in the future. Well I am really glad I chose to download it. I thought this was a fascinating study about a very contemporary moral issue. This book could not have been written 10 -15 years ago. All the characters viewpoints were well represented and it was a book that I kept thinking about after I had finished it. Inevitably I side with the younger daughters viewpoint, but after I had finished I found it easier to understand the rest of the family. I think it would make a very good book club read, with many issues and interesting characters. There were twists and turns throughout the story. It was well read and I would highly recommend it.
I would recommend this audio book - I had read the book so I knew the story was excellent - the narration is very good with male and female readers to add life to the many characters.
Mother and an active first time grandmother, I enjoy amateur dramatics, ice skating, scrabble and love becoming engrossed in a good book.
This book had my full attention right from the start. It is about a family with a child with a life threatening condition and the long term effects this has. It is about the consequences of producing another, conceived specifically to save the first. It is about the quality of life, the sanctity of life and the individual's right of choice.
The book is well written and the narration excellent. I found myself sympathising and getting angry with, or on behalf of the characters. The ending was a masterpiece, just when you thought it was all over.
I would recommend this to anyone who likes a good story, with real characters and likes to think about a book long after you have finished it.
"Wonderful Book, Very Emotional"
I took the plunge to listen to this book, because I have a daughter will a terminal illness. I thought I may be able to relate to this book, if I could emotionally get through it. Needless to say, I was amazed at how many things I could embrace and understand with tears in my eyes and a heavy heart for Anna and the rest of the family I continued to listen. You will not be disappointed by this book!!
Even though this book contains A LOT of medical terms and discriptions, Jodi Picoult, does an AMAZING job and making you understand what Kate and Anna are going through.
This book captures the heart of a mom, the love of a sister and the fear of someone about to lose their battle with cancer. You will be left thinking about your loved ones and what would you do to save their life.
"My Sister's Keeper" is a book that you need to curl up with a cup of coffee, a blanket and a HUGE box of tissues! You will enjoy every moment, every memory, every situation that this family goes through...and in the end, you will be shocked by how much more you love your family!
"A Wonderful Surprise"
I've been purposely resisting reading a Jodi Picoult book because after reading their summaries I thought her books sounded like downers that I could live without. I am so glad I changed my mind and gave her a try!
I was overwhelmed by how much I enjoyed this book and how, after several months, I keep thinking back on it! This is an excellent selection for audio and the different voices bringing the different perspectives of this story together really added to the book for me.
I thought this was a brilliantly constructed story, beautifully told and so very different from what I expected. It won't be my last book by this author.
"This One's a Keeper"
Awesome read! The story is told by many characters/narrators and beautifully and successfully presents diverse and controversial viewpoints on this issue. The multi-narrator technique can be hard to pull off, from a reader standpoint, as in my case I usually end up preferring and identifying with one character and get frustrated with what I see are digressions into other stories. However these characters and the details of their lives are complex and believable, and one is equally attracted by each person's situation. The only exception to this is the mother who, without saying too much so as to spoil, in my opinion behaves unrealistically from a legal standpoint (one of the reasons I gave this book a 4 and not a 5). But I guess that's part of suspending disbelief, which we must do to some extent in order to be drawn into any story. And all along I was concerned about the ending, thinking oh well there is only one way this can go and still be more or less MC ("morally correct"). But, thankfully, the author delivers a WOW! finale. My only complaint (the other reason for giving this book 4 out of 5) is the annoying use of mini-flashbacks *every single time* the story or conversation gets to a critical point. It was okay in the beginning but it drove me nuts near the end, where a certain increased pace would have been preferable.
"One of the most engaging I've listened to"
Very well-written, fascinating story involving medical ethics, the law, and a family dealing with a critically ill child and her siblings. Chapters alternate between the different characters telling the story from their points of view. Each character is beautifully drawn and believable and the narrators do a wonderful job capturing the characters' voices. Like one of the previous reviewers, I too felt the ending was disappointing and artificial (thanks for the warning) but it was only 15 minutes out of 13 great hours. A great read! I'd never heard of the author before and am now looking forward to reading some of her other books.
Just a little too sappy for my taste. I don't think it was a particularly bad book, it just veered too far into the emotional turmoil of a teenage girl, for me taste.
My book club selected this novel and all 15 of us hated it. The topic is fascinating but it's so foolishly written. Every character is a sterotype. At times the 13 year old protagonist sounded like a 40 year old philosophy professor. The forced and out of place love story is laughable. The ending "twist" comes out of left field and it's results defy medical science let alone logic.
My book club agreed the novel was written to be a screen play. You can almost see the stage direction between the lines.
I wouldn't recommend this book for anyone over 14.
"Lifetime Channel meets Dawson's Creek"
The various narrators do the best they can with this material, but they don't have much that's good to work with. The central situation -- the dilemma of a child who was conceived to be a tissue donor for her cancer-stricken sister -- is interesting, if potentially sensational. Unfortunately, it's very contrived, particularly the ridiculous ending.
Every character is constantly dispensing little metaphorical homilies and maxims where they compare various emotional situations to the stars, fire, hockey, law, etc. I think they're meant to be underlined by the kind of readers who go, "Oh, what a wise and funny life lesson!" It is incredibly irritating and pat to anyone else. Everyone talks in more or less the same way, with tepid wisecracks that are meant to make them endearing and then super-articulate expressions of their feelings that most real human beings could never produce. Everything they say is on-the-nose, like dialogue from a TV movie. The set-ups are oppressively obvious: The father is a fireman, so of course the acting-out teenage son is a pyromaniac! Duh.
This is the first, and I expect the last, Jodi Picoult novel I'll ever try.
Very good story with a good dose of moral questions that keeps you thinking. The story went well all the way and I was very happy when the whole thing was resolved and everybody was happy, but then the TWIST........................
I've listened to perhaps 6 books by this author and this is the best yet! Wow. Great narration and enough twists and turns in the plot to make the book unpredictable. In my opinion, you can't go wrong with this one, although if you despise books with emotional content, you won't like it.
"Not for everyone...but it was for me!"
I can see many parents not being able to listen to a book like this. It reaches down to your very core emotionally. You feel the pain this family is going through and how circumstances beyond their control, turn what should have been a very loving family, into a dysfunctional nightmare struggling to survive as a unit one day at a time. The courage of Anna, Kate and Jessie, all the children, is heartwarming and admirable. Although this is a very depressing book, I wouldn't have missed it for the world.
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