Daily Archives: September 10, 2009

My Sister’s Keeper

My first impulse purchase on the Kindle… I can see the wisdom behind the "download the first chapter(s) for free" business model.  The right book just sucks you in and by the end of their free sample, you don’t think twice to just buy it.  =)
This was such a touching story.  It was a little predictable, but very emotional.  It was pretty sad… almost needlessly tragic.  The characters were interesting and well-developed.  What I liked best was that it really makes you think.  Is it right to have a baby for the singular purpose to have "spare parts" for another child?  It feels so cold and calculating.  The mother’s character was so interesting to me.  Here’s a woman doing everything she can to keep one of her daughters alive.  She all but has given up on her son who lives in a mother-in-law apartment and is a serial arsenic developing cancer and alcoholism… and he’s 16.  She concieves a 2nd daughter just to have a built-in donor at her disposal to keep her other daughter who actually does have cancer alive.  On the one hand, her efforts keep this little girl alive 15+ years longer than was ever imagined.  But this comes at the cost of neglecting one child and subjecting the other child to unecessary invasive medical procedures.  What a hard choice… do you let your sick child go and focus on the kids who are healthy and have a standing chance at a long life?  Or do you do everything humanly possible to keep that child alive despite the havoc it’s wrecking on your family?  Tough.  And if you’re in the shoes of the younger daughter, are you more than happy to donate whatever it is your sister needs from you?  Or do you eventually resent being asked to give so much of yourself.  I just pray I’m never in a position to have to make that choice.
I do feel as though it was written to be made into a movie though.  Maybe I’m too cynical, but after having read Wuthering Heights, which is a classic, it felt like there were particular scenes that were a bit jolting as a written story but I could see it working cinematically.  The book is structured as a compilation of short chapters
rotating perspective through each of the main characters.  One of them is a flash back so it gives you the whole backstory.  I felt like I was in an ADD fit flip flopping between characters.  And there were some scenes that felt more cinematic than narrative.   I miss the classics.
All-in-all, I give it a thumbs up.  I’d be willing to read another Picoult book to see if the "cinematic" feeling is just her "style".  But I have to get back to my regular reading list… I think Jane Eyre is next.  I also want to squeeze in a David Sedaris book for some good laughs.