Nicole, who is four, and, Ari, who is seven, are cousins who become best friends. They maintain their friendship all through their growing up years, from college to marriage. Nicole becomes good friends with Ari's wife, Mimi, and their children become close friends, as if repeating the cycle. All seems well until Nicole is diagnosed with leukemia and her only chance for survival is acquiring cord blood from a match. The good news is that Ari had saved cord blood after the birth of his children that is a match for Nicole, but the bad news is that he refuses to let his cousin have it in case his children will need it in the future.
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Author Rosenberg explores the family dynamics of such a difficult topic, making the reader wonder just what would they do? Nicole and her husband decide to sue Ari for her right to have the cord blood and this puts a strain on her relationship with her best friend, Mimi, who is put in the middle, as well as with her cousin. The case goes before Supreme Court Judge Solomon Richter who is about to retire. I would have preferred to stick to the storyline of Ari, Nicole and Mimi, but the author brings us into Judge Richter's world and his struggle with this decision. For some reason, I envisioned Richter being played by Spencer Tracy, if this were a movie and he were still alive, especially when the judge gives us his summation.
While we watch Nicole become weaker and weaker, the cancer taking its toll, we hope for a miracle, for a change of mind. We also hope for Ari to have some compassion toward his cousin and give in to her demands. What transpires would be a spoiler if I were to reveal it here, but Rosenberg leaves the reader with food for thought, making us wonder if being at death's door would force us to demand something that doesn't belong to us. Or, if witnessing someone we have loved for so long at death's door, would we trust in a higher power and save them with the cord blood we have banked for our own children while hoping that we will not regret that decision later.
Best part of story, including ending:
I didn't love this novel nor did I hate it. The reason I didn't love it is that I felt the storyline with the judge was extraneous and unnecessary. I would have preferred to stick to the story of Nicole and Ari.
Best scene in story:
When Ari's son speaks to the judge. I ached for this young man being put in the middle of this very sensitive and passionate argument.
Opinion about the main character:
Nicole had a nice personality, which I liked, but I am on the fence about her trying to force her cousin to give her the cord blood he saved in the event his children would need it.