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My Sister's Keeper | [Jodi Picoult]

My Sister's Keeper

New York Times best-selling 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.
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Publisher's Summary

New York Times best-selling 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 13, 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.

©2004 Jodi Picoult; (P)2004 Recorded Books

What the Critics Say

  • Audie Award Winner, Multi-Voiced Performance, 2005
  • Alex Award Winner, 2005

"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." (Publishers Weekly)
"A complex, gripping story....A beautiful, heartbreaking, controversial, and honest book. (Booklist)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (2838 )
5 star
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4.3 (1067 )
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4.4 (1067 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Lisa Taft, CA, USA 08-04-09
    Lisa Taft, CA, USA 08-04-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Wonderful Book, Very Emotional"

    I took the plunge to listen to this book, because I have a daughter will a terminal illness. I thought I may be able to relate to this book, if I could emotionally get through it. Needless to say, I was amazed at how many things I could embrace and understand with tears in my eyes and a heavy heart for Anna and the rest of the family I continued to listen. You will not be disappointed by this book!!

    Even though this book contains A LOT of medical terms and discriptions, Jodi Picoult, does an AMAZING job and making you understand what Kate and Anna are going through.

    This book captures the heart of a mom, the love of a sister and the fear of someone about to lose their battle with cancer. You will be left thinking about your loved ones and what would you do to save their life.

    "My Sister's Keeper" is a book that you need to curl up with a cup of coffee, a blanket and a HUGE box of tissues! You will enjoy every moment, every memory, every situation that this family goes through...and in the end, you will be shocked by how much more you love your family!

    12 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Julie Ann Koehler Chicago, IL United States 03-08-06
    Julie Ann Koehler Chicago, IL United States 03-08-06 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Ridiculously Written"

    My book club selected this novel and all 15 of us hated it. The topic is fascinating but it's so foolishly written. Every character is a sterotype. At times the 13 year old protagonist sounded like a 40 year old philosophy professor. The forced and out of place love story is laughable. The ending "twist" comes out of left field and it's results defy medical science let alone logic.

    My book club agreed the novel was written to be a screen play. You can almost see the stage direction between the lines.

    I wouldn't recommend this book for anyone over 14.

    23 of 24 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jana Richmond, CA, United States 07-03-04
    Jana Richmond, CA, United States 07-03-04 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    23
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    "One of the most engaging I've listened to"

    Very well-written, fascinating story involving medical ethics, the law, and a family dealing with a critically ill child and her siblings. Chapters alternate between the different characters telling the story from their points of view. Each character is beautifully drawn and believable and the narrators do a wonderful job capturing the characters' voices. Like one of the previous reviewers, I too felt the ending was disappointing and artificial (thanks for the warning) but it was only 15 minutes out of 13 great hours. A great read! I'd never heard of the author before and am now looking forward to reading some of her other books.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    glamazon The Coast of Rhode Island 06-13-04
    glamazon The Coast of Rhode Island 06-13-04 Member Since 2003

    glam

    HELPFUL VOTES
    4375
    ratings
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    Overall
    "This One's a Keeper"

    Awesome read! The story is told by many characters/narrators and beautifully and successfully presents diverse and controversial viewpoints on this issue. The multi-narrator technique can be hard to pull off, from a reader standpoint, as in my case I usually end up preferring and identifying with one character and get frustrated with what I see are digressions into other stories. However these characters and the details of their lives are complex and believable, and one is equally attracted by each person's situation. The only exception to this is the mother who, without saying too much so as to spoil, in my opinion behaves unrealistically from a legal standpoint (one of the reasons I gave this book a 4 and not a 5). But I guess that's part of suspending disbelief, which we must do to some extent in order to be drawn into any story. And all along I was concerned about the ending, thinking oh well there is only one way this can go and still be more or less MC ("morally correct"). But, thankfully, the author delivers a WOW! finale. My only complaint (the other reason for giving this book 4 out of 5) is the annoying use of mini-flashbacks *every single time* the story or conversation gets to a critical point. It was okay in the beginning but it drove me nuts near the end, where a certain increased pace would have been preferable.

    28 of 30 people found this review helpful
  •  
    01-30-09
    01-30-09 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Wonderful Surprise"

    I've been purposely resisting reading a Jodi Picoult book because after reading their summaries I thought her books sounded like downers that I could live without. I am so glad I changed my mind and gave her a try!

    I was overwhelmed by how much I enjoyed this book and how, after several months, I keep thinking back on it! This is an excellent selection for audio and the different voices bringing the different perspectives of this story together really added to the book for me.

    I thought this was a brilliantly constructed story, beautifully told and so very different from what I expected. It won't be my last book by this author.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Oliver Norman Park, GA, United States 11-16-11
    Oliver Norman Park, GA, United States 11-16-11 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Performance
    Story
    "Sappy"

    Just a little too sappy for my taste. I don't think it was a particularly bad book, it just veered too far into the emotional turmoil of a teenage girl, for me taste.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Laurene New York 06-12-12
    Laurene New York 06-12-12 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "Lifetime Channel meets Dawson's Creek"

    The various narrators do the best they can with this material, but they don't have much that's good to work with. The central situation -- the dilemma of a child who was conceived to be a tissue donor for her cancer-stricken sister -- is interesting, if potentially sensational. Unfortunately, it's very contrived, particularly the ridiculous ending.

    Every character is constantly dispensing little metaphorical homilies and maxims where they compare various emotional situations to the stars, fire, hockey, law, etc. I think they're meant to be underlined by the kind of readers who go, "Oh, what a wise and funny life lesson!" It is incredibly irritating and pat to anyone else. Everyone talks in more or less the same way, with tepid wisecracks that are meant to make them endearing and then super-articulate expressions of their feelings that most real human beings could never produce. Everything they say is on-the-nose, like dialogue from a TV movie. The set-ups are oppressively obvious: The father is a fireman, so of course the acting-out teenage son is a pyromaniac! Duh.

    This is the first, and I expect the last, Jodi Picoult novel I'll ever try.

    19 of 21 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nathan Edmonton, Alberta, Canada 11-26-08
    Nathan Edmonton, Alberta, Canada 11-26-08 Member Since 2006
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    "Her best"

    I've listened to perhaps 6 books by this author and this is the best yet! Wow. Great narration and enough twists and turns in the plot to make the book unpredictable. In my opinion, you can't go wrong with this one, although if you despise books with emotional content, you won't like it.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gert Glenden, Australia 11-20-08
    Gert Glenden, Australia 11-20-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Enjoyable"

    Very good story with a good dose of moral questions that keeps you thinking. The story went well all the way and I was very happy when the whole thing was resolved and everybody was happy, but then the TWIST........................

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ella toronto,, Ontario, Canada 10-15-06
    Ella toronto,, Ontario, Canada 10-15-06 Member Since 2005

    Knowledge is knowing the way. Wisdom is looking for an alternative, more interesting road to get there. Audiobooks are that road.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Overall
    "Not for everyone...but it was for me!"

    I can see many parents not being able to listen to a book like this. It reaches down to your very core emotionally. You feel the pain this family is going through and how circumstances beyond their control, turn what should have been a very loving family, into a dysfunctional nightmare struggling to survive as a unit one day at a time. The courage of Anna, Kate and Jessie, all the children, is heartwarming and admirable. Although this is a very depressing book, I wouldn't have missed it for the world.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
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