Okay, I finished it.
My Sister's Keeper is a wonderful hack book. My face is still wet from the tears I cried. My heart broke as I read. Jodi Picoult does an amazing thing, she gives you the climax and then turns the book on its heels in the denouement. But, it's not enough.
My Sister's Keeper is the story of the Fitzgerald family. Specifically, about the Anna and Kate Fitzgerald. Anna is thirteen, genetically harvested by her parents to be a perfect donor match for her older sister, Kate. Kate is on the brink of death from a rare form of leukemia and has been since her diagnosis at the age of two, fourteen years prior. The family has asked Anna to donate yet another organ, this time a kidney, to save her sister. Anna hires attorney Campbell Alexander to fight for her medical emancipation.
The narrative jumps back and forth between characters, and for one character, time. This, and the positive reviews, was one of the initial reasons I wanted to read the book; however, the characters are not strong enough to speak in their own voices. Picoult's character switch made me think of Faulkner and wish I was reading him: his character differentiation is what Picoult strove for.
Picoult is clever. Her word choice is wonderful--she knows exactly what to say to punch the reader in the gut. Even during blatant and cliched situations, it's clear she understands empathy and knows how to evoke an emotional reaction.
My Sister's Keeper does not quite fall into the light summer read category because the subject matter is heavy and Picoult does challenge you to think, even though you can see her challenges as clearly as if she wrote them in the margin. It's not literature, either. But it does take you through one family's heartbreak in a visceral way.
Henry and Mudge In The Green Time, Cynthia Rylant, Pg. 12. Side note: this is one of books my nephew read to me. He read it to me on the train--about 6 pages. He's just graduated kindergarten. The book was a lot of fun and easy for a 6-year-old mind.
Winnie-The-Pooh, A. A. Milne, Pg. 90.