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My Sister's Keeper [Audio CD]

Jodi Picoult , Various
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (169 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 33.76 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Book Description

Oct. 1 2005
"New York Times" bestselling author Jodi Picoult is widely acclaimed for her keen insights into the hearts and minds of real people. Now she tells the emotionally riveting story of a family torn apart by conflicting needs and a passionate love that triumphs over human weakness. Anna is not sick, but she might as well be. By age thirteen, she has undergone countless surgeries, transfusions, and shots so that her older sister, Kate, can somehow fight the leukemia that has plagued her since childhood. The product of preimplantation genetic diagnosis, Anna was conceived as a bone marrow match for Kate -- a life and a role that she has never challenged...until now. Like most teenagers, Anna is beginning to question who she truly is. But unlike most teenagers, she has always been defined in terms of her sister -- and so Anna makes a decision that for most would be unthinkable, a decision that will tear her family apart and have perhaps fatal consequences for the sister she loves. "My Sister's Keeper" examines what it means to be a good parent, a good sister, a good person. Is it morally correct to do whatever it takes to save a child's life, even if that means infringing upon the rights of another? Is it worth trying to discover who you really are, if that quest makes you like yourself less? Should you follow your own heart, or let others lead you? Once again, in "My Sister's Keeper, " Jodi Picoult tackles a controversial real-life subject with grace, wisdom, and sensitivity.
--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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From Publishers Weekly

The difficult choices a family must make when a child is diagnosed with a serious disease are explored with pathos and understanding in this 11th novel by Picoult (Second Glance, etc.). The author, who has taken on such controversial subjects as euthanasia (Mercy), teen suicide (The Pact) and sterilization laws (Second Glance), turns her gaze on genetic planning, the prospect of creating babies for health purposes and the ethical and moral fallout that results. Kate Fitzgerald has a rare form of leukemia. Her sister, Anna, was conceived to provide a donor match for procedures that become increasingly invasive. At 13, Anna hires a lawyer so that she can sue her parents for the right to make her own decisions about how her body is used when a kidney transplant is planned. Meanwhile, Jesse, the neglected oldest child of the family, is out setting fires, which his firefighter father, Brian, inevitably puts out. Picoult uses multiple viewpoints to reveal each character's intentions and observations, but she doesn't manage her transitions as gracefully as usual; a series of flashbacks are abrupt. Nor is Sara, the children's mother, as well developed and three-dimensional as previous Picoult protagonists. Her devotion to Kate is understandable, but her complete lack of sympathy for Anna's predicament until the trial does not ring true, nor can we buy that Sara would dust off her law degree and represent herself in such a complicated case. Nevertheless, Picoult ably explores a complex subject with bravado and clarity, and comes up with a heart-wrenching, unexpected plot twist at the book's conclusion.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From School Library Journal

Adult/High School - Anna was genetically engineered to be a perfect match for her cancer-ridden older sister. Since birth, the 13-year-old has donated platelets, blood, her umbilical cord, and bone marrow as part of her family's struggle to lengthen Kate's life. Anna is now being considered as a kidney donor in a last-ditch attempt to save her 16-year-old sister. As this compelling story opens, Anna has hired a lawyer to represent her in a medical emancipation suit to allow her to have control over her own body. Picoult skillfully relates the ensuing drama from the points of view of the parents; Anna; Cambell, the self-absorbed lawyer; Julia, the court-appointed guardian ad litem; and Jesse, the troubled oldest child in the family. Everyone's quandary is explicated and each of the characters is fully developed. There seems to be no easy answer, and readers are likely to be sympathetic to all sides of the case. This is a real page-turner and frighteningly thought-provoking. The story shows evidence of thorough research and the unexpected twist at the end will surprise almost everyone. The novel does not answer many questions, but it sure raises some and will have teens thinking about possible answers long after they have finished the book. - Susan H. Woodcock, Fairfax County Public Library, Chantilly, VA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What Lengths Should a Family Go to Save a Life? Nov. 12 2008
By Teddy
Anna was conceived as a bone marrow donor for her sister Kate. Originally it was just going to be taken from the placenta but when that didn't hold, Anna ended up being a long-term donor for Kate. By the age of 13, Anna had undergone several surgeries and transfusions. Now she is expected to donate a kidney to her sister. Now she will draw a line in the sand. She will fight this.

What length should parents and siblings' go to save a family member's life? What is ethical, moral, and legal? What is right for the person who has the disease? Picoult does not give us the answers but leads us through the journey of what one family, lawyers, and the courts go through. In the end, we must decide.

I like how the narrative of the story switches from character to character so that we can get inside what each person is thinking and feeling. Picoult also throws in a few twists and turns to keep the story and plot going.

Several people have recommended this book to me. I must admit I hesitated, blowing it off as "chick lit". Boy was I wrong. This story is not superficial fluff; it deals with deep ethical issues and is well written.

This is the first Jodi Picoult book I have read, but it is certainly not the last. I highly recommend My Sister's Keeper!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Does not Live Up to Its Interesting Premise June 2 2004
By A Customer
"My Sister's Keeper" is the first novel I have read by Jodi Picoult, and it could very well be the last. The premise of the novel is so interesting: a younger sibling is genetically "designed" so that she will be an acceptable donor to her older sister, who is very ill. As the girls age, there are medical, legal and emotional choices and consequences for the whole family. The story is told from the perspective of each character in the story, which is also an interesting and insightful way to deal with the subject matter.
However, in spite of its promise in both subject matter and form, the novel does not deliver a pleasurable read or a satisfactory ending. At several points while I was reading, I thought: "Is this a soap, or this literature?" I felt like the book, which has lofty quotations which run the gamut from D.H. Lawrence to Shakespeare, has too many aspirations. The author does not let it be enough of a straight-up tug at your heartstrings family drama, and tries to endow it with more seriousness than the writing is really capable of pulling off. And the ending was just not appropriate: the reader is anticipating an ending that deals with the ethical consequences of the character's actions, and the author robs the reader of that experience. I couldn't recommend the novel on that basis alone.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good book, too sudden ending! April 18 2006
By A Customer
I have just finish reading this book and I have to admit that I don't regret my purchase. However, people thinking of getting this book should be aware that the ending spoils the 'greatnest' of the story. It is too abrupt, too sudden and you're left wondering if the author had a deadline and didn't know what to do so lets just say she puts a stop to the debate about the organ donation pretty quickly.
One other minor thing that bugged me : Anna's going back and forth to her mother. (You'll understand!)
Even though some parts of the book were frustrating, if you read most people's comments they couldn't put the book down so in MY book, it means it is worth the time spent reading it.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An important book Aug. 15 2006
By Pat V.
This is a novel pulled right from today's headlines, one filled with ethical conundrums and ambiguities. Medical advances that put us in the position of playing God (but without the infinite wisdom) have no easy right/wrong answers, as Picoult makes abundantly clear in her captivating book. Picoult's characters are as real as your friends and neighbors, good people at heart caught up in troubling issues that are only going to grow more vexing as medical advances continue to outstrip our courts and our ability to come to terms with all the moral implications. Unsettling yet fascinating, My Sister's Keeper is a must-read. It would have received five stars if it weren't for the ending, which could have been much more definitive and less of a convenient, simple way out of a problematic situation. Still, My Sister's Keeper wins a solid recommendation. There's another thoughtful good book, An Audience for Einstein, that explores the ethics of advanced medical science in a somewhat gentler way.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Great premise, disappointing book April 6 2010
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This was my book club read for this month which is why I read it. While Jodie Picoult often picks very interesting and controversial topics to explore in her books, her habit of telling her stories from multiple viewpoints has become formulatic and I find them quite cumbersome to read.

That said, once I started the book, I was pleasantly surprised. As a bioethics minor in university, I found the premise underlying the story very interesting...the moral and ethical considerations regarding voluntary and/or involuntary organ donation.

About a 1/4 of the way through the book, however, my attention started to wander for a couple of reasons.
1. With the exception of Anna, the characters were quite unsympathetic.
The mother was downright dislikeable,the father: ineffective, the brother: troubled (to say the least), the lawyer: swarmy and juvenile and the guardian ad liem: juvenile and foolish.
2. The introduction of the romantic storyline was both distracting and silly.No big surprise they turned out to have been "star-crossed lovers" who found each other again. This storyline would have worked great in a Harlequin Romance but, in a novel dealing with serious matters, the preoccupation of two pivotal characters with their failed high school romance was just ridiculous.
3. Storyline about the lawyers "condition"? Ditto
4. Much too long a book...elimination of the romantic storyline would have eliminated alot of "filler" and made the book a better read.

The novel would have still been salvageable if the author had really explored the premise set out at the beginning of the book: Anna's resistance to acting as her sisters organ donor and the moral and ethical considerations involved.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
In good condition, really glad to finally be able to read this book. Shipment was on time.
Published 17 hours ago by Emily Fulton
1.0 out of 5 stars Dreadful ending kills the story
Not too many novels have made me as mad as My Sister's Keeper.
The premise was interesting. I got caught up in Anna's struggle to define herself as something more than a... Read more
Published 22 days ago by zoe17
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Really touching book.
Published 1 month ago by e mc nulty
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
remember the kleenex great book
Published 1 month ago by Nina
5.0 out of 5 stars great book
This was a great book, it was an easy read, couldn't put it down. Can't wait to see the movie.
Published 9 months ago by Diane Guignard
5.0 out of 5 stars Book by Jodi Picoult- My Sister's Keeper
Very good book. Would be one to read again in a few years. They should have made the movie as the book went.
Published 13 months ago by Karen Apland
3.0 out of 5 stars Okay....
This story has a very interesting premise; a 'designer' baby created to save an older child's life. I think the most interesting thing are the various chapters with the voices of... Read more
Published 15 months ago by loridrys
5.0 out of 5 stars tear jerker
At first I didn't want to read this. I am so happy I did. It has a great twist and will make you cry.
Published 16 months ago by B. Arthurs-jones
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW
What a story, I had a very hard time putting this one down !!!
I'm so glad that I didn't see the movie, that would have wrecked everything about this story.
Published 20 months ago by Barb O.
3.0 out of 5 stars audio book of my sisters keeper
I enjoyed the audio book, but I thought the readers could be more animated. They seemed to just read the book. instead of acting the parts. but I really enjoyed the book.
Published 22 months ago by Karen
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