MLA Platinum Award Press Release

Summary and book reviews of My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult

My Sister's Keeper

by Jodi Picoult

My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult X
My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Apr 2004, 423 pages
    Paperback:
    Feb 2005, 448 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse Review Team
Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

The emotionally riveting story of a family torn apart by conflicting needs and a passionate love that triumphs over human weakness.

Winner of the 2005 BookBrowse Diamond Award for Most Popular Book

New York Times bestselling author Jodi Picoult is widely acclaimed for her keen insights into the hearts and minds of real people. Now she tells the emotionally riveting story of a family torn apart by conflicting needs and a passionate love that triumphs over human weakness.

Anna is not sick, but she might as well be. By age thirteen, she has undergone countless surgeries, transfusions, and shots so that her older sister, Kate, can somehow fight the leukemia that has plagued her since childhood. The product of preimplantation genetic diagnosis, Anna was conceived as a bone marrow match for Kate -- a life and a role that she has never challenged...until now. Like most teenagers, Anna is beginning to question who she truly is. But unlike most teenagers, she has always been defined in terms of her sister -- and so Anna makes a decision that for most would be unthinkable, a decision that will tear her family apart and have perhaps fatal consequences for the sister she loves.

My Sister's Keeper examines what it means to be a good parent, a good sister, a good person. Is it morally correct to do whatever it takes to save a child's life, even if that means infringing upon the rights of another? Is it worth trying to discover who you really are, if that quest makes you like yourself less? Should you follow your own heart, or let others lead you? Once again, in My Sister's Keeper, Jodi Picoult tackles a controversial real-life subject with grace, wisdom, and sensitivity.

Chapter One: Anna

When I was little, the great mystery to me wasn't how babies were made, but why. The mechanics I understood -- my older brother Jesse had filled me in -- although at the time I was sure he'd heard half of it wrong. Other kids my age were busy looking up the words penis and vagina in the classroom dictionary when the teacher had her back turned, but I paid attention to different details. Like why some mothers only had one child, while other families seemed to multiply before your eyes. Or how the new girl in school, Sedona, told anyone who'd listen that she was named for the place where her parents were vacationing when they made her ("Good thing they weren't staying in Jersey City," my father used to say).

Now that I am thirteen, these distinctions are only more complicated: the eighth-grader who dropped out of school because she got into trouble; a neighbor who got herself pregnant in the hopes it would keep her husband from filing for divorce. I...

Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!
  1. One of this novel's strengths is the way it skillfully demonstrates the subjectivity people bring to their interactions with others. The motivations of individual characters, the emotions that pull them one way or another, and the personal feelings that they inject into professional situations becomes achingly clear as we explore many different viewpoints. For example, despite Julia and Campbell's attempts to remain calm, unemotional and businesslike when they deal with one another, the past keeps seeping in, clouding their interaction. The same goes for the interaction between Sara and Anna during the trial. Is there such a thing as an objective decision in the world of this story? Is anyone capable of being totally rational, or do...
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $39 for a year or $12 for 3 months
  • More about membership!
  • award image

    BookBrowse Awards
    2005

Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

My Sister's Keeper examines what it means to be a good parent, a good sister, a good person. Is it morally correct to do whatever it takes to save a child's life, even if that means infringing upon the rights of another? Is it worth trying to discover who you really are, if that quest makes you like yourself less? Should you follow your own heart, or let others lead you?..continued

Full Review (268 words).

This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access, become a member today.

(Reviewed by BookBrowse Review Team).

Media Reviews

People (Critic's Choice)
[Second Glance] is a fast-paced, densely layered exploration of love, the pull of family and the power of both to transcend time.

People (Critic's Choice)
[Second Glance] is a fast-paced, densely layered exploration of love, the pull of family and the power of both to transcend time.

USA Today
Picoult's characters are so compelling that the reader hopes this won't be the last time we meet.

The Washington Post - Katherine Arie
Picoult is at her best, and most moving, when writing from the perspective of Anna's mother, Sara. Exhausted by Kate's recurrent illness, Sara is often on edge and overwhelmed. But she is also focused Her tenacity, her vigilance and her support during Kate's aggressive cancer treatments all give Kate a reason to live. Mothering takes on new meaning, and the mundane becomes surreal Kate's goldfish, according to the oceanologist Sara consults in a desperate effort to save the pet's life, requires bottled water, and the mere thought of buying Jesse a new pair of soccer cleats after Kate relapses seems downright obscene.

The Boston Globe
Picoult writes with a fine touch, a sharp eye for detail, and a firm grasp of the delicacy and complexity of human relationships.

Publishers Weekly
The difficult choices a family must make when a child is diagnosed with a serious disease are explored with pathos and understanding ..... Picoult ably explores a complex subject with bravado and clarity, and comes up with a heart-wrenching, unexpected plot twist at the book's conclusion.

Kirkus Reviews
There can be no easy outcomes in a tale about individual autonomy clashing with a sibling's right to life, but Picoult thwarts our expectations in unexpected ways. Despite overplotting, then, a telling portrait of a profoundly stressed family.

Library Journal - Kim Uden Rutter
Picoult's timely and compelling novel will appeal to anyone who has thought about the morality of medical decision making and any parent who must balance the needs of different children. Highly recommended.

Booklist - Kristine Huntley
Starred Review. Told in alternating perspectives by the engaging, fascinating cast of characters, Picoult's novel grabs the reader from the first page and never lets go. This is a beautiful, heartbreaking, controversial, and honest book.

Reader Reviews

Cloggie Downunder

A perfect ending twist
My Sister’s Keeper is Jodi Picoult’s 11th novel. It centres around Anna Fitzgerald who has retained lawyer Campbell Alexander to sue her parents for the right to her own body. Anna was conceived to provide (initially) cord blood for her older sister ...   Read More

Stephanie

Another great title from Picoult
Jodi Picoult is by far my favorite author, and once again with My Sister’s Keeper she does not disappoint. In this story, Picoult deals with the issue of “savior siblings” and what happens when the created sibling no longer wants to be poked, prodded...   Read More

Rebecca

Becca
All I can say is wow. One of my all time favorites. This book touched my heart, I couldn't imagine a better perspective she could have chosen. You can honestly feel the tragedy of this book. It is so difficult to believe Jodi Picoult could have lived...   Read More

Melon S. Jeans

Great Book
The story is about a girl with struggles in her family. She wants out of the situation she was born to do; save her sister. It comes down between the mothers with representing herself and the daughter and her lawyer representing for her. I ...   Read More

Write your own review!

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $39 for a year or $12 for 3 months
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book

Bibliography:

  • Songs of the Humpback Whale: A Novel in Five Voices (1992)
  • Harvesting the Heart (1993)
  • Picture Perfect (1995)
  • Mercy (1996)
  • The Pact (1998)
  • Keeping Faith (1999)
  • Plain Truth (2000)
  • Salem Falls (2001)
  • Perfect Match (2002)
  • Second Glance (2003)
  • My Sister's ...

This "beyond the book" feature is available to non-members for a limited time. Join today for full access.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $39 for a year or $12 for 3 months
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

Readalikes Full readalike results are for members only

More books by Jodi Picoult

If you liked My Sister's Keeper, try these:

  • The Forgetting Time jacket

    The Forgetting Time

    by Sharon Guskin

    Published 2017

    About this book

    Noah wants to go home. A seemingly easy request from most four year olds. But as Noah's single-mother, Janie, knows, nothing with Noah is ever easy. One day the pre-school office calls and says Janie needs to come in to talk about Noah, and no, not later, now - and life as she knows it stops.

  • Hyde jacket

    Hyde

    by Daniel Levine

    Published 2015

    About this book

    A reimagining of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde from the monster's perspective, Hyde makes a hero of a villain.

Non-members are limited to two results. Become a member
Search Readalikes again
How we choose readalikes
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $39 for a year or $12 for 3 months
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: American Dirt
    American Dirt
    by Jeanine Cummins
    Jeanine Cummins' American Dirt hasn't just been positively reviewed by BookBrowse First Impressions ...
  • Book Jacket: In the Dream House
    In the Dream House
    by Carmen Maria Machado
    In the introduction to In the Dream House, Carmen Maria Machado (a National Book Award finalist for ...
  • Book Jacket: Father of Lions
    Father of Lions
    by Louise Callaghan
    Our readers have given high marks to Father of Lions by Louise Callaghan. Out of 21 reviewers, 18 ...
  • Book Jacket
    Girl, Woman, Other
    by Bernardine Evaristo
    As we meet Amma, a 50-something playwright finally experiencing mainstream success in Bernardine ...

Book Club Discussion
Book Jacket
The Lost Man
by Jane Harper

"Strong characters, riveting plot and an honest look at life in the Australian outback make it easy to give this 5-stars!"
—BookBrowse

About the book
Join the discussion!

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    You Were There Too
    by Colleen Oakley

    Acclaimed author Colleen Oakley delivers a heart-wrenching and unforgettable love story.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Creatures
    by Crissy Van Meter

    Set on the eve of an island wedding, this provocative debut novel exerts a pull as strong as the tides.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win The Adventurer's Son

Publishing Soon!
The Adventurer's Son

"A brave and marvelous book. A page-turner that will rip your heart out."
--Jon Krakauer

Enter

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

I I A Broke, D F I

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.