Atria, Apr 2004, 25.00, 432 pp.
Thirteen year old Anna Fitzgerald knows why she was born in vitro with a near perfect genetic match so that her body can serve as spare parts to keep her older sister Kate alive ever since her sibling was diagnosed with leukemia. As Kate suffered numerous relapses, Anna's platelets, bone marrow, and umbilical cord stem cells have been used to keep the older sister alive.
Their parents Sara and Brian demand that Anna donate a kidney to Kate. As her older brother Jesse turns to arson over his frustrations with his family's motto of Kate only, Anna has grown tired of being a harvest. She hires attorney Campbell Alexander to represent her in court in an attempt to get a judgment stopping her parents from using her body anymore. Sara, who is obsessed with keeping her beloved Kate alive at all costs, feels betrayed by her youngest child while her husband understands the immense pressure on his youngest daughter. Anna wants to help Kate because she loves her sister, but knows that it must be her decision not a mom who sees her as a biological feeder mechanism.
MY SISTER'S KEEPER is a reflective deep look at a family in crisis due to a long term health problem of one of the members. The story line is at its best when Jodi Picoult inspires readers to ponder intense philosophical questions on right and wrong that would turn Ayn Rand's head spinning in moral dilemmas. Though the melodramatic ending is too neat a wrap-up even with a twist, readers who appreciate a novel that provides a profundity that few tales possess will want to peruse this thought provoking drama.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner