My sister's keeper. Themes,Plot and Culture context .

I have just finished reading the novel “My sisters keeper” written by Jodi Picoult. I personally find this book moving and very inspirational.

This book is about a family who had their  lives  turned upside down when their youngest daughter Kate was diagnosed who a rare form of cancer. With neither of the parents being a match and being able to act as a donor they then turned to their son Jesse but it turned out that he was neither a suitable donor for his sister Kate. To ensure that their daughter would have a good chance of surviving this horrible disease thy decided that they would have another child that will be genetically designed so that the new child would be a perfect donor for Kate. Now at age thirteen the donor child Anna has finally decided that she doesn't want to be a donor for her sister. This seems to happen all of a sudden when now her parents are asking Anna to donate a kidney to her sister who has reached the end stages of renal failure caused by her cancer. Anna has decided that she doesn't want to be a donor for Kate anymore and so she decides to sue her parents for the rights to her own body.

This book is jam packed with different themes. While I was reading the book I managed to choose three themes that I noticed that would come up a lot during the book, these three themes are the theme of friendship, the theme of love and the importance of family as another theme.

These themes  are seen from the very beginning of the novel when we are first  introduced to Anna a young thirteen year old girl who sister has a rare form of cancer. We meet Anna when she is telling us about how she was conceived, that she was specially conceived so that she could act as a donor for her sister to help prolong her life and to hopefully cure her of her cancer.

This is where we see the importance of family as a strong theme throughout the novel. We first learn about Anna and how she has been used to prolong her sister’s life and never once did she complain. She was always willing to donate organs or blood or anything that her sister needed so that she would live for that little longer. We also see the importance of family when we learn about the extreme lengths that Anna’s parents Sara and Brian went to so that they could ensure that Kate her sister who has been suffering from cancer since she was only two years old got the chance to live her life. They both got tested to see if they would be able to act as donors for their daughter Kate while they also got their son Jesse tested. This shows the importance of family because we learn that this family will do anything that they can so that they can save one child from dying so that they can keep their family strong and together.

Another key theme that we see throughout the novel is the theme of friendship. One of the main friendships and the most important friendships in this novel is the friendship that Anna and Kate share. There bond as sisters goes much further than just sisters and in to friends that would do anything at all so that they could help the other. Kate has been sick for most of her life she never really had a chance to make long term friends. This has resulted in Anna and the rest of their family, the doctors and the nurses becoming Kate’s friends because they have been given the chance to grow together. The friendship that Kate and Anna have can be seen throughout the entire novel when Anna has flashbacks to when Kate was well or even when Kate was sick and the memories that they had together.

The theme of love has to be one of the strongest themes if not the strongest and most important themes in this novel. We see that Sara, Kate and Anna’s mother loves both of her daughters, she loves all of her children but it's clear that people can only see her love for Kate when most of her life is focused around later and her health. This theme is often associated with the two other main themes in the book, the theme of friendship and also the importance of family.  The love that Sara has for all of her other children is often overshadowed when Kate is not in the best of health. During the novel we see that Sara feels hat Anna is pursuing this lawsuit because she feels that Anna is looking for attention and love. This theme is developed the most throughout the novel when the court case is taking place. We see how in the past Sara has done things to help Kate stop suffering out of love but because of her love for one daughter she also ends up enforcing pain on her other child.

This book is set in the present day and it is written in very much the present day. During the novel we hear from seven different characters. Most books are written in chapters such as chapter one and chapter two like that. This book is not quiet written like that. The book is set over a period of a week and a half. Each chapter is a day of the week. Within in these days of the weeks there are subchapters written form the point of view forms one of the seven characters. All of the characters but one of the characters writes in the present day. Sara the mother writes in the past form when Kate first got diagnosed with cancer and then moves up through her child’s battle with cancer outlining the different things that happened to Kate, her treatments, what Anna done for her sister and then just generally about that year what was a key thing that happened during that year. Until near the end of the book Sara continues to talk about the past but during the court case we hear form Sara at the present day.
I think that the way that this book is written is very good, i think this because you hear what life is like for all of the different characters and it is written from there point i view. i think that this lays a very important role in how the reader reacts to the book. This lets the reader form their own opinion of each of the seven characters. I also think that by writing the book this way it allows the readers to be able to relate to the story more. I found while reading the book that because there was seven different characters that all had very different personalities that i could try and find that one character that i thought would be similar to myself.

I liked how the book was written because there were some parts of the book that were very sad and that would get you thinking about things really deeply. I found that most of these parts of the stories were old from either Sara’s point of view or sometimes Anna’s point of view. This meant that after reading a particular hard part in the book depending on what person came next it would make the book easier to read almost as if it was giving you a break from what was going on.

 The plot in this book catches your attention from the very beginning. Some of the chapters and very good so much so that they leave you hanging on the edge of your seat when the end and it makes you want to just keep reading on and not stop. The main plot is of course the story of how Anna wants to sue her parents to the rights to her own body because she doesn’t want to act as a donor for Kate anymore but there are a number of sub plots that make this book so much more interesting.
One of the most interesting subplots involves Jesse. We learn that how Kate got sick nobody really seemed to care about him and how when something happened to Kate he would be sent to the next door neighbour’s house if his aunt was not there to look after him. He feels alone isolated and left out. We find out how he deals with things when something bad goes wrong with Kate this causing a whole new subplot of its own.

Another subplot involves the Lawyer and the guardian ad litem (GAL) this one talks about a relationship that they had over fifteen years ago. We see that the relationship ended badly and that it is hard for them to work together because it causes old feelings to rise back up to the surface.

Another subplot involves Brian and as job. He works as a fire fighter. He is often called away to go and work but most of the time he finds that the fires he is fighting has been set by an arsonist. Nobody has been able to catch the arsonist to stop him so all they can do is to try and stop the firs. Soon Brian realises that his son Jesse is the arsonist after finding a cigarettes butt that the thought might belong t Jesse.
There are number of subplots in the book and I think that sometimes they can take away from the main story of the book and really throw you off course when you are reading it. I didn’t really like when we found out about the relationship that the lawyer and the GAL had together. I thought that had nothing to do with the book and I just didn’t really reading about. I thought that the other two subplots that I have mentioned have 
far more to the do with the main plot than the subplot about the lawyer and the GAL.


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Anonymous said...


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