Author, Book review, Coronet, Fiction, general, Jodi Picoult, Publisher, Setting, USA

‘My Sister’s Keeper’ by Jodi Picoult


Fiction – paperback; Coronet Books; 448 pages; 2005.

Jodi Picoult’s My Sister’s Keeper is an intriguing and intelligent book about a moral and ethical medical dilemma: is it OK to conceive a genetically matched child so that the baby’s cord blood cells can be donated to her older sister who is sick and dying from a rare blood disorder?  And if the “designer baby” is continually “used” to help her sister, should she be able to say no at any point?

After a lifetime of medical procedures to help her sister, 13-year-old Anna decides she has had enough and takes the drastic step of suing her parents for the rights to her own body. The outfall is, obviously, emotionally powerful: anger and heartbreak mixed with confusion, pain and disbelief. The mother’s initial reactions are particularly telling.

I found the subject of Picoult’s eleventh novel fascinating and her writing deft and free from cloying schmaltz. Each character in the novel takes it in turn to narrate chapters, which is a great device for being able to show the range and complexity of different conflicting viewpoints. However, I found that trying to tell everyone’s story only served to make an already complicated book even more complicated. And the love element between Anna’s lawyer and the woman appointed to look at Anna’s case just added to the confusion – I really couldn’t have cared less about them.

On the whole, while My Sister’s Keeper didn’t really grab me by the jugular, I thought it was an interesting and entertaining read. The twist at the end, which came right out of left field, almost reduced me to tears it had such a forceful impact: it made reading the book all the more worthwhile.

11 thoughts on “‘My Sister’s Keeper’ by Jodi Picoult”

  1. I almost bought this a few days back but went with the Time Travellers Wife in the end as I wasn’t sure how gripping a read it will be…possibly one to keep in the back of my mind for future!


  2. Hi, I found your blog by searching for “book blogs.” I’m trying to start my own and wanted to see some other ones that are out there already. Thank you!


  3. I just read this book… I agree with your review and have to say that for me the hardest part was the multiple narratives. I think it weakened her storytelling and did I care to know about some of the characters? no! Interesting read but not as good as I expected.


  4. I just read the book and loved it. I disagree with you on some points however, I think the multiple narration added to the authnticity of the book, being able to get a wider look in to the charcters minds. I do however agree that Campbell and Julia storyline was rather irrelevant. A fantastic read never the less.


  5. I just found your blog – very cool! I read this book this summer. My girlfriends and I chose it as our summer book club selection. I really enjoyed it, mostly because I was just totally surprised by the ending. Didn’t suspect a thing. I think the subject is very compelling and it was told from an interesting viewpoint – I wasn’t sure whose side I was one. I’d give it 4 stars.


  6. Can someone please explain the ending to The Time Travellers Wife?? I loved the book, but dont actually understand how Henry died. Did he time travel back to 1984 and was shot?


  7. This was an amazing story. I recomnd it to all those people who havent read it, READ IT! It is great. The ending is my favorite type of ending!


I'd love to know what you think, so please leave a comment below

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.