My Sister’s Keeper was written by Jodie Picoult in 2004. Critics perceived it in different ways: some called it “thrill to read”, others convinced the author in writing about sexism, violence, unsuitability in her book. But still the book is quite popular in the world.
At first sight the novel seems to be just a sad story about a girl who has a serious disease, but while “digging” deeper the reader understands it’s not so simple: themes of love, friendship, braveness in struggle with illness, with own fears, and many other vital issues open here, objectively and unobtrusively showing what is wrong in many today’s family relations, what is truly important in a man’s essence, what should be real values for people.
The author uses the first-person narration in her novel, but this first person is not single: the story is built like a diary of all the members of the Fitzgeralds. Each of them shows his or her view on the events which take place in their life, perception of them through the prism of their feelings, emotions and mind.
Actually the central character of the story is Kate, who suffers from leukemia. She is tried to treat in every possible way, everybody tries to make her happier. But Anna, younger sister of Kate, is no less important character of the story. She is like being in Kate’s shade, but once she decides to go out of this shade, she wants to show that she is as full personality, as her sister is. She wants to say that she is worth much more than being just a donor for another person: she wants her dreams and wishes to fulfill, she wants to live a normal life of a girl. The court is expected to solve her issue, her desire. While reading the story, the reader is breaking between two polar sides: he/she understands Anna’s point of view – every person is free to live in that way which he or she chooses to live, and, in particular, is free to do everything he/she wants with their body. But Sarah’s, her mother’s, point of view is also understandable – she wants to save her child. What catches eyes, that except of being on the different, actually opposed sides in the court, the mother and the daughter keep loving each other deeply and strongly; not less noticeable is that fact that in spite of not wanting to help her sister, Anna keeps being in good, friendly relations with Kate. Only in the end of the story the reader understands while the sisters didn’t become enemies: the idea of sueing belonged not to Anna, but to Kate, who wanted to die, and when she had got to know that only Anna can help her to keep living, she begs her to not allow anybody to do that.
Jodie Picoult clearly highlights the issues which take place in her story: she skillfully shows the Fitzgeralds’ family from different sides, thus she shows pros and cons of the parents’ education here, the issues of family relations: relations between Sara and Brian, between Anna, Kate and Jesse, their elder brother. Also she shows the power of love, while writing about that period of Kate’s life when she met Taylor – her illness stopped for some time. Many other problems are raised in the book, and the author has definitely reached her goal to convey to the reader their importance. But all of these issues may be connected in one – Jodie Picoult tries to say the reader, that every moment of life is worth living, a man should appreciate these moments while they still take place, because once there will be time, when they will finish and won’t repeat anymore.