Born to Save You: My Sister’s Keeper

Lillian Roberts, Reporter

We’ve all heard of slightly…strange or unethical reasons to have a child; to glue a marriage back together, to replace a lost child, to keep a family line going. Even being a genetically modified baby is more usual nowadays. However, most designer babies aren’t born to be perfect genetic matches to their cancer-ridden sisters…

The Fitzgeralds had a rough fourteen years. With their son getting drunk and stoned all the time, and their eldest daughter dying of acute promyelocytic leukemia, life wasn’t easy. And to make things even more difficult and stressful, their youngest, Anna, decided she’s done. Giving her sister blood and bone marrow was one thing, but now her mom is pressing her to donate one of her kidneys to Kate (Kate’s are failing, and without the transfer, she won’t make it). Anna accepts the fact that her sister might die, and goes to a lawyer to file for medical emancipation.

Campbell Alexander, Anna’s lawyer, accepts her case, even though it won’t be a paying one; after all, a case like this would make a lot of publicity, especially if he won. The family goes to court more than once for the trial, where Anna’s mom steps up as the defending attorney. All her mother wants is for Kate to get better; she loves Anna too, but if Kate healing means Anna gives up one of her kidney’s, why wouldn’t Anna donate her kidney?

Later, Anna reveals that giving her kidney isn’t the problem; her real problem is that nobody ever listens to her, and she’s tired of people doing things to her without ever asking, without ever considering the consequences for her. And as if that’s not enough, Anna reveals something else about her reasons for suing her parents at court that made me almost drop the book. Maybe you’ll suspect it from the beginning, but I didn’t see it coming, and it thoroughly shocked me.

My Sister’s Keeper is an emotional story, and the author makes each character’s faults clear; nobody in the book is perfect. The chapters switch between the different characters’ points of view, giving you a unique perspective from every character. It causes you to sympathize with all of them, even if they’re selfish or indecisive or rude or a “criminal”. Despite the different personalities, I fell in love with each and every one of the characters and felt a connection with them.

There was only a few parts of this book that I didn’t appreciate. For one, I’m not very big on “intimate” moments, but the few that were in there were brief enough not to bother me. However, they do swear quite a bit, and if anything like the “F bomb” offends you or makes you uncomfortable, this book might not be for you. This is one of my favorite sappy books, though, so I’ll put up with anything in order to read and enjoy it.

The ending of My Sister’s Keeper is heart-wrenching; I can’t help but break down in tears every time I read it. I don’t mean just a few tears, too – I mean full on sobbing, red eyes, and that aching feeling in my throat. Don’t let this discourage you; My Sister’s Keeper is a beautiful, epic tale about a serious topic. If this even slightly peaks your interest, you should check it out –  it’s a great read.