My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult is an amazingly touching novel written very beautifully. After a long time, I read something which was not a mystery or a thriller but still kept me intrigued throughout.
It’s a poignant tale of a thirteen year girl Anna who knows that she was brought into this world to keep her terminally sister Kate alive as long as possible. Soon after she is born, Anna donates blood, stem cells , bone marrow to Kate. Anna’s parents, Sara and Brian, have only one aim in their life and that is to keep Kate alive which results into a neglected and not-so-normal childhood for Anna and Jesse, their son.
When Anna turns thirteen and Kate needs a kidney from her, she files a lawsuit again her parents for medical emancipation. The court trial reveals the mental and emotional turmoil that everyone in the family goes through.
The book is written in first person narratives by all the characters in different chapters which really works great for the story. Reader gets to be in the mind of a teenager, grieved parents, terminally ill teenager, an epileptic lawyer and its just a burst of so many varied emotions. How far can parents really go to save one child’s life when at the same time they are endangering another child’s life? There is no right or wrong for such things and Jodi Picoult has woven the story in a superb way.
The last chapter, narrated by Kate is the most wrenching one and will surely make you cry. The end was really very very sad and very unexpected. I don’t want this review to be a spoiler and so will not mention it here. But, if you are up for an emotional roller coaster ride for a read, this one is for you.
As always, I want to end it with some of my favourite lines from the book. Difficult thing is to pick up a few as there were so many beautifully written lines in this one!! I am afraid this post is going to be a long one 🙂
“No matter who you are, there is some part of you that always wishes you were someone else – and when for a millisecond, you get that wish, it’s a miracle.”
“Let me tell you this: if you meet a loner, no matter what they tell you, it’s not because they enjoy solitude. It’s because they have tried to blend into the world before, and people continue to disappoint them.”
“It is so easy to think that the world revolves around you, but all you have to do is stare up at the sky to realize it isn’t that way at all.”
“Grief is a curious thing, when it happens unexpectedly. It is a Band-aid being ripped away, taking the top layer off a family. And the underbelly of a household is never pretty, ours no exception.”
“you’re not a bad person because you want to be yourself.”
“Extraordinary things are always hiding in places people never think to look.”
“Sometimes to get what you want the most, you have to do what you want the least.”
“It’s disappointing to know that someone can see right through you.”
“I learn from my own daughter that you don’t have to be awake to cry.”
“There are always sides. There is always a winner and a loser. For every person who gets, there’s someone who must give. ”
“Normal, in our house, is like a blanket too short for a bed–sometimes it covers you just fine, and other times it leaves you cold and shaking; and worst of all, you never know which of the two it’s going to be.”
“Life sometimes gets so bogged down in the details, you forget you are living it. There is always another appointment to be met, another bill to pay, another symptom presenting, another uneventful day to be notched onto the wooden wall. We have synchronized our watches, studied our calendars, existed in minutes, and completely forgotten to step back and see what we’ve accomplished.
“When you have been with your partner for so many years, they become the glove compartment map that you’ve worn dog-eared and white-creased, the trail you recognize so well you could draw it by heart and for this very reason keep it with you on journeys at all times. And yet, when you least expect it, one day you open your eyes and there is an unfamiliar turnoff, a vantage point taht wasn’t there before, and you have to stop and wonder if maybe this landmark isn’t new at all, but rather something you have missed all along.”
And the best one:
“If there was a religion of Annaism, and I had to tell you how humans made their way to Earth, it would go like this: In the beginning, there was nothing at all but the moon and the sun. And the moon wanted to come out during the day, but there was something so much brighter that seemed to fill up all those hours. The moon grew hungry, thinner and thinner, until she was just a slice of herself, and her tips were as sharp as a knife. By accident, because that is the way most things happen, she poked a hole in the night and out spilled a million stars, like a fountain of tears.
Horrified, the moon tried to swallow them up. And sometimes this worked, because she got fatter and rounder.. But mostly it didn’t, because there were just so many. The stars kept coming, until they made the sky so bright that the sun got jealous. He invited the stars to his side of the world, where it was always bright. What he didn’t tell them, though, was that in the daytime, they’d never be seen. So the stupid ones leaped from the sky to the ground, and they froze under the weight of their own foolishness.
The moon did her best. She carved each of these blocks of sorrow into a man or a woman. She spent the rest of her time watching out so that her other stars wouldn’t fall. She spent the rest of her time holding onto whatever scraps she had left.”