Tuesday, June 24, 2008

My Sister's Keeper

This book kind of sucked.

Okay, it kept my interest and distracted me while I was waiting to hear if we got an offer on the condo (we didn't, of course, but that's another story for another day). She tackles the ethical dilemma from an interesting angle- of course,we all wonder and worry about children conceived for the purposes of providing their siblings with cord blood for stem cell transplant, but she goes further, and wonders what would happen if the sibling continued to need tissue from that sibling.

Having said that, Jodi Picoult's oeuvre (for lack of a better word, sorry) reads like a list of Afterschool Specials or Very Special Episodes. This shouldn't have any bearing on this particular book, but that knowledge is really irritating to me. I'm not precisely sure why that is.

The most bothersome aspect of the book, for me, was the mom. I'm SO tired of authors writing about families struck by tragedy, with mothers that fall apart and fathers that are left to put the pieces back together and salvage the family. It's incredibly tiresome and this book is no exception. Yes, women are hysterical and irrational and men are caring and bewildered but always able to see the full picture and keep the family chugging along. I mean, it must be true, because all the books I'm thinking of were written by women, and wouldn't they know? (sigh.)

The subplot with Anna's lawyer was incredibly obvious to me, but maybe not to people in other professions. It was also, um, not an exact copy of Dr. Zhivago, but very...derivative.

The ending was a total cop-out, and while I didn't see it coming at all, it was still stupid.

I didn't like this book. I'm not sure what I'm reading next, but I hope I like it more than this one.


Rae said...

Hah! I loved this book. Although the plot line with the older brother I almost skipped over entirely.
I can be sooo sappy. Give me melodrama. Reread the first part of the book, I'm not sure if it's the first paragraph or an intro...after the ending, it has a different meaning.

Donna said...

One reason I hated this book is that I read it when Liam was like one month old and I will never be able to get that image out of my head of the mother with the two kids in the bathtub and then her noticing the bruises on the back of the daughter with leukemia. (shudder) I usually don't read more than one or two books by the same author but I see what you mean about the afterschool specials with Picoult. I think her plots are interesting in theory but I'm not interested in reading them. However they do make good reads for book discussions. My grade, C-

Crabby Apple Seed: said...

I can totally see them making good book group discussions, because ethical discussions always make good discussions. But I think that's my problem with her books- it's almost like they're a series of readers for an ethics class. Like, in grade school when you went from the red workbook to the blue workbook to the yellow workbook...like that.

That's funny about reading books by the same author. When I read one thing I like, I want to read fifty things by the same person. Authors like Donna Tartt who write one book every ninety years are so frustrating to me, even though I know that's partly why her two books are so good.

Donna said...

I am checking out The Secret History now. Thank you. :o) I think we are complimentary in the ways we are not alike and yet quite similar.

diedendidit said...

I read this and another Jodi Picoult (which is pretty forgettable because I can't even remember the name) because someone went on maternity leave (ah hem, Culhane) and I was leading the book discussion. I was reading the second one very early in the Linda relationship and one day she emailed that she saw someone on the el reading Jodi Picoult and thought of me. Her quote: Fortunately, there are a lot of things that remind me of you. Unfortunately, one of them in Jodi Picoult.
I liked the idea of the ethical dilemma, but the first person writing is exhausting and only slightly clever the first time around. She really seems to crank up the characterizations to make it work.