My Sister’s Keeper Review

My Sisters Keeper Review

By Arden Dethridge, Reporter

In 2004, Jodi Picoult graced the world with the heart wrenching novel, My Sister’s Keeper. Picoult is well-known for connecting to her readers and being a tear jerker. My Sister’s Keeper was no different and sat uneasily with anyone who dared to pick up the book. It shocked the world so much that a movie was released in 2009. 

To sum up the novel quickly without any spoilers, Anna Fitzgerald is our main character and she is the sister of Kate. Kate was diagnosed with leukemia, a cancerous disease that affects blood cells and bone marrow, at the age of two. Anna was born quickly after Kate’s diagnosis to be a donor baby for her sister. However, after thirteen dreadful years of undergoing many surgeries and painful procedures, Anna has had enough and decides to sue her parents for medical emancipation after being asked to donate a kidney to Kate. 

Now onto the rating, I would give the characters a 8/10. Anna also has an older brother Jesse, who comes in and out of the novel whenever he wants to. Jesse portrays the outcome of an overlooked child who doesn’t get much attention. He tends to get into serious trouble such as committing felonies and stealing. However, he stays under the radar because of the bigger conflict his parents, Sara and Brian Fitzgerald, have to deal with. Sara is an emotional mother who only wants the best for her family even if that means sacrificing her own life and parts of Anna’s for others. She is put in a difficult situation throughout the novel. Brian, on the other hand, has to work a full time job just to keep the lights on at the house. He is rarely at home with his family, which creates a chaotic household for everyone to live in. Brian voices for Anna mainly throughout the book because Sara doesn’t want to listen to Anna’s problems. If she did, that would mean she would be killing Kate by letting her not donate a kidney. 

Anna and Kate both want their own independence and freedom. Anna is a smart girl who is not afraid to speak her mind. Kate is tired of living in hospitals, and Anna is tired of seeing her sister in hospitals. They both desperately want and need a change. 

Now the plot I would give a 9/10. The plot goes back and forth throughout the entire novel trying to decide if Anna is doing the right thing and being reasonable. The main argument is that she is a child who doesn’t know what is right and will regret her choices once Kate is dead. Campbell Alexander, who is Anna’s lawyer, argues that she is her own person and should be able to make her own decisions after having to abide by her parents for thirteen years. They go back and forth on this subject and the consequences tear the family apart. As a result, Anna moves out of the family home, Kate is bedridden at the hospital, and if that wasn’t enough Jesse spends a night in jail. 

I would rate the ending a 10/10. Although bitter, it’s unexpected and provides a different perspective on how family really is the most important thing. The ending goes as followed; the day comes to decide if Anna should have medical emancipation and if Kate lives or dies. The Fitzgerald family, all except Kate and Brian, gather in court representing their sides in a grueling battle. Sara begs Anna to drop the charges and after a lengthy discussion it is revealed why Anna even sued her parents in the first place; Kate asked her to because she didn’t want to live sick anymore. This shocks the judge, courtroom, and family. 

Therefore, Anna wins and is declared medically emancipated from her family. All she has to do is go to the courthouse and finalize the paperwork. Sara is distraught after realizing she is going to lose a child, so she heads back to the hospital to see Kate in her last few moments. Anna rides with Campbell Alexander to the courthouse but on the way, the unthinkable happens. Anna gets in a fatal car crash and is killed. Her body is rushed to the hospital after being declared brain dead because she can still donate her organs to Kate. The Fitzgeralds’ are in shock but give permission for the organ donation and Kate survives.

Sophie Byrd also read My Sister’s Keeper and gave her opinion on the novel. “It was a great story with a powerful message. The book made me want to keep reading and I related to Anna with wanting independence at times. I would rate it a 8/10.” Overall, my evaluation of this book equals out to be a 9/10. I highly recommend this book to every reader as it will make you appreciate the little things in life.