Family relationships come in all sorts of textures and hues. There are the happy ones, the sad ones, the frustrating ones and sometimes the non-existent ones. But what would happen if you realized that the prime reason why you existed in the family was so that another family member could live? That’s the premise of our next book pick: My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult.
Picoult takes on the question of bioethics and asks what does it mean to be a good parent, a good sister and a good family member. The Fitzgerald family decides to conceive a child so that she could be a genetic match and help save their daughter who is battling leukemia. By the time Anna turns 13-years-old, she has had countless surgeries, bone marrow and blood transfers to help keep her sister Kate alive. Even though she loves Kate very much, when the parents plan a kidney transplant between the two sisters, she decides that enough is enough. Anna sues to stop her parents from using her as a genetic parts depot. That tears the family apart and the consequences of Anna’s decision are very real and potentially lethal. It’s clear she loves her family very much and you can feel the torment of her decision. In the meantime, you can see how the rest of the family is fracturing at the seams. Jesse, the neglected oldest child of the family, is out setting fires, which his firefighter father, Brian, in an ironic twist, puts out. In the midst of this is Sara, the family’s mom, who is fiercely and steadfastly devoted to the oldest daughter’s chance of survival.
My Sister’s Keeper brings in a whole host of characters, each of who gets to tell their side of the story in their own voice. It’s a riveting read that captures you from the first chapter. We invite you to join us on Monday, February 27, 2006 at 7PM at Joseph-Beth Booksellers at SouthPark Mall for coffee, dessert and dynamic discussion about this intriguing book. To RSVP, please log on to: http://www.thecharlotteweekly.com/