Friday, September 23, 2005
My Sister's Keeper
I have to say that My Sister's Keeper is easily one of the best books that I've read this year. The book is heartfelt and touching (and also had me in tears at the end!). Picoult's story begings with the telling of two sisters and their family and their struggles with leukemia. The older sister is diagnosed wtih leukemia at the age of two. Her older brother is not a good match to donate bone marrow, and the doctors give the parents hope that they could try for another child who could be a better match. They go through a fertility clinic and hand select an embryo that will be the perfect donor for their sick little girl. After many treatments and donations, the younger sister declares that she has had enough of it. The story blossoms from there. You learn about the troubled older brother, the mother who tries desperatly to save her oldest daughter from death, a father that is seeing his children in a new light, and the special relationship that sisters share with one another.
There are many ethical issues that are brought up with this book. It has been a long debate over the idea of "designer" children. But if you select the genes to be a donor for a child that you have that is sick, is that really wrong? You're trying to save one life through the use of another child? Or is that too much like the geneocide that Hitler tried to introduce in WWII? Designer genes are one thing, but what is to stop people from selecting children who are blonde haired and blue eyed and all fabulous athletes?
And then that brings the question as when is it too much for the new "donor child"? Who makes the decision when they have donated enough? Who decides which life is more important? Is it better to put the donor in harms way if theres a slight chance that the sick child may live or may be cured?
This is one of those books that will follow you long after you finish the last page (as you wipe tears from your eyes, seriously!). I finished this book over a week ago and I'm still moved by it. I spoke so highly of it, that as soon as I finished, my mom quickly plucked it out of my hands to read! I've longed to discuss this book with others, but the ending is such an integeral part of the story that I'm reluctant to say anything about it. Like I said before, I have to say that this is the best book I've read this year.
Again, just wow! I'm looking forward to reading the rest of Picoult's work, even if they are only half as good as My Sister's Keeper I know I'll enjoy.