My Sister's Keeper

by Jodi Picoult

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Did your view change as you progressed through My Sister's Keeper? Explain.

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My opinion did not change throughout the course of this novel. The story of what this family, particularly their two daughters, endured, is heartbreaking from start to finish.

Let's start with the story of Anna and the entire reason that she exists. Her parents gave birth to her because she was a perfect donor match for her sister, Kate, who was fighting a rare and nasty form of leukemia. Thanks to some "help" from medical science, Anna was custom-created to be a perfect match for Kate. She got no say in the matter and was subjected to endless medical procedures that were not to her benefit—that is, until she initiated legal proceedings to be medically emancipated.

For the next heartbreaking element of this story, let us turn our attention to Kate herself. She has been fighting this disease most of her life and, as it transpires, she just wants to stop fighting. Many readers would state that their view of Anna changed when it emerges that it was Kate herself, and not Anna, who wished to surrender and stop fighting this disease.

Then we consider the heartbreak that their parents, Sara and Brian, endure. One child is suffering a life-threatening disease; the eldest is rebelling and setting buildings on fire, and their youngest child is suing them for the rights to her own body. Not to mention that an old flame of Sara's has entered the picture, with potentially disastrous ramifications for their marriage.

Though beautifully written and poignant, this story evokes feelings of sadness in me from start to finish. The catastrophic accident which culminates in a future for the family that was entirely different to what any of them had predicted, adds yet more layers of unspeakable sadness.

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