Tuesday, July 21, 2009

My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult

I put this book on my wishlist when it was first released, years ago, but I didn't seek it out when I went book shopping or to the library (although a couple times I saw it in the reserved stack behind the desk). When I saw that it was being made into a movie, though, I thought, "I really want to read that before I see the movie." And then I found it at a garage sale the weekend after I saw the movie commercial. Clearly, I was meant to read this book!

I liked My Sister's Keeper quite a bit. I've never read Picoult before, and though she's been recommended often enough, I just kept not getting around to her. I'm not running out to read more of her books immediately, but I will, I'm sure.

Picoult tells the story of a family experiencing the slow death of their daughter/sister from leukemia, and she tells it from everyone's angle--except Kate's, the dying girl's. Pleasant surprise: this multi-directional approach works really well. No one person gets more sympathy than another; Picoult (probably with the help of her editorial team) manages to walk a fine line and keep everything balanced. And I really liked all of the characters; they were just unfortunate people thrown into a no-win situation and trying to deal with it the best way they could figure out how to.

However, I was a little skeptical of the gratuitous sub-plot romance thrown in between the lawyer and the court-appointee watching out for Anna's welfare. Anna is the youngest in the family, the one who was conceived to be a genetic match so that they could use her umbilical stem cells to try to force Kate's cancer into remission.

Even though I made a point of reading the book before seeing the movie, once I was finished with the book, I had no intention of actually seeing the movie; the ending of the book didn't work for me at all. But I see on Picoult's site that the movie's ending is different from the book's, so maybe I'll see it after all.

6 comments:

bermudaonion said...

I enjoyed this book, but like you, didn't really like the ending. I think it was meant to shock us. I'm not sure if I'll see the movie before it leaves the theater. (Once it does, I probably won't see it.)

Dawn - She is Too Fond of Books said...

Sounds like a good yard sale find. I have this sitting on my bookcase (like you, bought 2nd-hand), but haven't yet read it.

My 13-yr-old read it and says "it was really good ... the ending was really sad, though"

Serena said...

I'm sorry that the ending didn't work for you in the book. I have not read Picoult either, though I have one on my shelf.

Let us know if you see the movie and whether you like the altered ending.

Jena said...

Bermudaonion--I thought the ending was cheap, a kind of easy way out.

Serena--I will definitely let you know, if I see the movie, what I thought of the ending. The other Picoult I have on my shelf is The Plain Truth (I think that's the title); a woman I was working with insisted I borrow it, but I didn't get to read it before I married and moved away and I don't know how to return it after I do read it!

Zibilee said...

I haven't read this, but a few friends have. I have kind of been staying away from it because of the ending (which someone spoiled for me). Also, I am not really sure I would enjoy Picoult's writing, it seems a tad melodramatic.

booklineandsinker said...

i listened to this book when it first came out--audiobooks tend to give multi-narrator stories more depth for me--and it was entertaining. i didn't see the movie and don't have plans to...