My sisters KeeperCan someone help me formulate the cultural context of this novel?
Definitely a Western society...probably the USA...where medicine is advanced and the idea of having additional children in order to harvest their stem cells, etc. to "heal" the first ailing child is sometimes suggested. Creating more donors in the same family is really one of the only ways to ensure that the organs, blood, tissue, etc. being donated won't be rejected by the recipient's body.
This culture also gives women a large degree of decision-making power. Another reason why you know it's Western society, and probably the USA.
Define "culture" first. There is a culture within any group--doctors, women, children...they all have their own culture. Then you add the additional factors of race, economic status, education status, religious preference, etc.
The cultural context here could also refer to the attitudes within the characters and the relationships between them. The Fitzgerald family appear close, but they have a 'culture' of assuming that Anna will succumb unquestioningly to the relentless medical procedures required to sustain her sister's life. It is the family's love for each other and the decision to finally listen to each other which breaks the culture of silence and guilt.