I was kind of sceptical about this book because my friend who recommended it described it as ‘the best book I have read in a long time’. Now, when a book comes with such high praise, it is almost always doomed to underwhelm.

Surprisingly, it surpassed her recommendation. ‘My Sister’s Keeper’ is the story of Anna and Kate. Kate was diagnosed with Leukaemia when she was very young. Because of her age and the severity of her illness, doctors believe that a non-familial donor match has a high chance of being rejected by Kate’s body and not working. Her parents make the decision to have a third child and through genetic technology, ensure that she is a complete donor match for Kate. This is how Anna is born; essentially her purpose in life is as a donor body for Kate. All her life Anna undergoes operations to donate bone marrow (and other things which I can’t remember) to her sister and the book begins when at 13, she walks into a solicitor’s office to sue her parents for the legal rights to her body because she is expected to donate a kidney to Kate and she doesn’t want to.

While the book is primarily about Anna and Kate, there are plenty of other significant characters and good storylines. Anna’s lawyer, her legal guardian appointed by the court, brother Jesse, mother and father and her sister; Kate all feature prominently.

The book constantly has you thinking about the moral implications of decisions made; decisions that break an entire family down (even though they don’t notice because they’re all much too busy trying to keep Kate alive) and create a divide between father and mother. I dare anyone that reads the book to try and take sides easily, because quite simply, you can’t. Nobody is wrong. The caption on the front of the book says something like, ‘If you risk one child’s life to save another, are you a good mother or a very bad one’ and it sums up the dilemma quite well.

While the book contains a lot of medical terms and descriptions, it does not get bogged down by them. It is very humorous in parts and the ‘twist’ and the shocking dramatic end had a chill running through my spine. This is in fact one of the best books I have read in a long while; and I don’t give that accolade out lightly. If there is one book I’d recommend everyone reads, it’s this one.


I've read it and I was upset cos of how it ended... :-(

I wish it ended a different way but it was a good read.

2:43 PM  

I also liked Salem Falls... her books are not happy go lucky books but they are really good.

2:52 PM  

I was shocked about how it ended as well, and really didn't think it was necessary but I guess that's one of the reasons why it had me thinking about it all that time after.

I haven't read any of her other books but would you recommend Salem Falls?

11:55 AM  

Exactly, the end was not necessary!

I think I MIGHT recommend it because I read Salem Falls first and cos I kinda liked it, I bought My Sister's Keeper after.

I saw Vanishing Acts in the Charity Shop for £2 but I didn't buy it... maybe I'll get it when next I go there.

1:35 PM  

I've been wanting to read this book but BUKI YOU KILLED THE ENDING FOR ME :( i'm assuming someone died???? now you have to tell me the whole story!!

5:20 PM  

LOL!!! Onada, I promise you I haven't killed the ending for you... I suggest you read it... It really is a Good Book!

U'll still be surprised at how it ends...

1:53 AM  

Have you read 'Lovely Bones'?

2:39 PM  

@Bougzy Was it a good book?

2:56 PM  

@londonbuki - nope, I havnt read it; a friend recommended I read it last year but I havnt got to it yet. I picked up, figured I'd ask your thoughts on it if you've read it.

I picked up my sisters keeper (havnt read it yet) a few months ago when I bought that dire zadie smith book and remember thinking at the time that there might be some key ideas raised there which might feature in lovely bones. I look forward to reading both though.

3:29 PM  

Oh! London Buki, I forgot to add …just one more thing them I promise to (try to) shut up on books for tonight:

The guy who recommended Lovely Bones did so as he saw me reading Dean Koontz' 'From the Corner of His Eye'. I read it a few years ago, not last year as I’d initially thought; I think I liked the book at the time - or perhaps it was more the storyline that got me more than the style of writing(?) anyway, check out the review if you can and add it to you must read list if you like it.

There is a reason why I limit my trips to Borders, as evident with my posts tonight, I go in for one book and come back with +10. Thank God I am not like that with shoes, bags, clothes etc else I'd be bankrupt!

3:36 PM  

Ha you have Money oh!!! LOL!!! I have started buying books secondhand!!!

I read From The Corner Of His Eye... I liked it but ir was not so so great...

I'll check Lovely Bones out tomorrow on the web...

Come back soon and if you wanna join the bookclub so you can write posts... let me know :-)

4:07 PM  

I've been meaning to read Lovely Bones for a while ... I've heard it's amazing. Somebody gave me Lucky, which is her second book but I never got round to reading it.

I'm just like you Bougzy, I buy so many books even though I make regular pacts with myself to read all the books on my shelf before I buy any new ones!

@Londonbuki and Bougzy, I'm a member of a real life book club that meets in coffee shops and everything if you're interested. Or we Londoners should meet up every once in a while and exchange books ... save on buying new ones!

@ Onada: Trust me too, Londonbuki did not spoil the end for you!

6:52 AM  

@1982 I've been trying to join a book club for ages. But they are either terribly flaky or they read things that I'd rather donate to the blind. I thought about setting up one for regular meetings in my flat/ alternating members’ houses. you know, wine, good food, talk, book and not terribly girl non supportive gossip but then it sounded more like the worship meetings my aunt used to go to back in the day so I ditched that idea.

Where is this one? Details please!

@ londonbuki – thank you kindly for the offer to join this book blog but I’d enjoy it more if I could read sporadically and contribute via comments tab, no pressure on me then :) Besides, there is a poetry group starting online which I declined to be part of, joining any other online clubs right now would just be treacherous you know, like getting into a new relationship 3 days after someone who fancies the pants off you actually tells you about it and you say ‘aww, shucks, I’m not really looking for anything serious right now’ … which reminds me, I’ve a story that starts like that, must go look for it.

7:48 AM  

1982 - Where's this bookclub?
Bougzy - No worries, keep on coming back to leave comments :-)

12:41 PM  

@ Buki - It's not anywhere in particular, the last two meetings were in the Starbucks @ Borders in oxford circus but we want to try and move it around. Coffee shops anywhere central and preferably near a book shop so we can choose the next book.

If you want, I can add your e-mail address to the e-mail list or just let you know what book we read every month and it's up to you whether or not you want to join in for that particular book.

2:24 AM  

@1982 Please let me know what book you are reading every month... thank you :-)

3:11 AM  

Have you guys read Kazuo Ishiguro's new book - that is heartbreakingly good - and somewhat in the line of this book.

8:44 AM  

@ Noni Moss - I haven't and I plan to, however I have also been planning to read his old one for a very long time and have never quite got round to it.

Would you definitely recommend it?

7:47 AM  

I would recommend all his books. When we were Orphans needs a second read before you grasp all the concepts i think but it's really good. I love his style.

10:32 AM  

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