Imagine this. You have a older sister who is dying from cancer. She constantly needs blood donations, and transplants in order to survive. Envision that you are her donor and that her life depends fully on you, and only you. Well...welcome to the life of Anna Fitzgerald, a girl who was specifically born to save her sister’s life.
In this book review we have the novel “My Sister’s Keeper,” a book that is written in multiple perspectives and time periods. Published in 2004, written by New York Times Best Selling author Jodi Picoult.
Anna, is a 13 year old girl in middle school wants to be just like every other girl her age. She has a passion for playing hockey and has crushes on boys in her class every now and then. However, due to her older sister Kate’s cancer relapses, Anna is always pulled away from all of her leisure activities.
Anna has always loved her sister and has always without any complaint, fulfilled her duty as Kate’s donor. It is very clear that Anna thinks of herself incomplete without Kate. Since Kate is the only reason that she exists. It is unmistakable that Sara and Brian, Anna’s parents always have their full attention on Kate and only refer to Anna when they need something from her. This time it’s Anna’s kidney. At this point in the storyline there are multiple unanticipated events and everything in the lives of the characters swivel to whole new directions.
While reading book the book “My Sister’s Keeper” something that I quickly noticed was that the chapters are all narrated by different characters. This is something that I found really unique about Picoult’s writing. Whenever the story is told in Anna’s perspective she is telling the story during present time. Whereas when Anna’s mother Sara is telling the story in the past to let the readers know how the lives of Anna and Kate turned out the way they are.
When I first started reading this book I was a little confused because I couldn’t grasp the fact that the story was being told in different point of views and the events that were taking place were during different years though there was only one main character, Anna. However after reading a good chunk of the book it became clear to me that the same story was being told through different lens and that the was being told in different puzzle pieces so by the end of the book everything fit together into one picture as a whole story. I think Picoult did this on purpose because she did not want the reader to judge the characters based on just one perspective. She wanted the readers to know what mindset the other characters were in also.
Jodi Picoult used a very interesting method to help readers become comfortable with the different narrators and the years the story was being told throughout. The chapters were all written in different fonts. Each font dedicated to one character. This was something that helped me know who was speaking because whenever a new chapter began, since I tended to jump right in with out reading the title of the chapter.
I think for me this book was a very smooth and fast read. I was able to finish the book with in a week along with all of my academics. I was really drawn in to the story even though it had a really melancholy feeling to it and was at times was a little boring and slow. But In the back of my head I knew I was going to finish this book because I loved Anna’s character. Even though she is really young in the book she was really strong and was going through what all teenagers do. She was trying to figure herself out which is something that I think every teen including myself can connect to.
I highly recommend this book to any young adult who likes a realistic and emotional story. I think this book has a lot of hidden messages about family bonds and important relationships that every person has. Overall I really enjoyed reading this book and I look forward to watching the movie interpretation of “My Sister’s Keeper” a novel by Jodi Picoult.