Troutbirder

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Monday, March 21, 2016

My Sisters Keeper


In recent years I’ve returned a bit to fiction and found Barbara Kingsolver and Jodi Picoult to be two new (to me) favorites. My most recent was Picoult’s My Sisters Keeper. I picked it out because I knew it was one of the authors most popular and had also been made into a movie.
It tells the story of 13-year-old Anna, who sues her parents for medical emancipation when she is expected to donate a kidney to her older sister Kate, who is dying from leukemia. Actually, she was conceived and genetically programed for this purpose and has been “donating” various fluids and bodily parts for some time. As young teenagers are sometimes wont to do she rebels and a family crises of the worst and most heart wrenching kind ensues. If you feel drawn to books involving serious ethical challenges this one’s for you. And I both loved and hated this book at the same time….
It was, after a good start,  way too  contrived and manipulative.  An unbelievably precocious teenager who hires a lawyer and cracks wise? The perfect father who take sides in a court hearing against his wifes’ judgment. She, the mother who risks all to save all. Even Judge Judy couldn’t make sense out of this soap opera. Yes, I was very conflicted about this book reading it anxiously to the very end…..  

15 comments:

Lin said...

I don't care for her style of writing. If I can figure it out all on my own, I don't bother.

CailinMarie said...

I had a similar reaction. I've read one or two of her books and I agree with Lin.

Out on the prairie said...

I read her before and saw this recently

Valerie said...

I don't think I've ever read this author. The plot sounds good but I think I would find the emotional twists and turns rather upsetting.

Anvilcloud said...

I have read and appreciated Kingsolver, but I haven't read Picoult. Not sure if I'm inclined to.

Arkansas Patti said...

This one I have read and I do enjoy reading Picoult. I have heard of actual spare parts children being created by parents with critically ill children. The ending was a twist I didn't see coming.

NCmountainwoman said...

I can't imagine even saying Barbara Kingsolver and Jodi Picoult in the same breath. I totally love everything Kingsolver wrote, my favorite being "Poisonwood Bible." I have tried three different Picoult books. So many of my friends love them and I thought I should as well. Too much pathos and to quote Troutbirder, "contrived and manipulative." I won't be trying any more of her works.

Sally Wessely said...

I stopped reading her long ago because I also felt that her stories were contrived and manipulative. I really do not like authors who do that to the reader. I did read this book. I had the same reaction as you did. I was reading it one day when I saw my doctor. She asked about it, so I dropped it off to her after I read it. We had a great discussion about the book when she finished reading it. She thought the book was quite ridiculously conceived in its concept and plot.

Sarah Laurence said...

Excellent review! I often do feel conflicted about Jodi's books but I can't put them down. This one produced a strong reaction from me too. I'm impressed to see you reading outside your comfort zone. I feel that way when I listen to a murder mystery with my husband. I prefer Barbara Kingsolver.

Midlife Roadtripper said...

I've read one of her books also. Maybe this one. A pageturner full of holes. I didn't appreciate the manipulation or the loose ends never addressed. I did read the entire thing, however, none of her work since.

Far Side of Fifty said...

I don't like the writer and I saw this movie:(

Far Side of Fifty said...

Me again, just heard that you might get 14 inches of winter, perhaps it will melt fast! :)

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi TB, thanks for the review. I usually avoid this kind of family drama. It always seems in cases of family conflict, there is never a winner and never a happy conclusion. I appreciate your views on the book.

Bubba Muntzer said...

Thanks for that review, TB. You bring up a topic I sometimes see discussed in the circles of influence I inhabit, which goes to questions about what is the purpose of art, can it be used to proselytize, further a point of view. I think as your readers make clear, it is best when it does those without you noticing so much, as Barbara Kingsolver is more able to do perhaps.

We bring our own world view to bear on everything we read and write, and on all the art we take in and produce. In that sense it's all political. There's no other way. We have only our mind with which to create and interpret. The notion that there is an objective reality is itself a political idea.

Good review!

Jennifer A. Jilks said...

I adore her books. Amazing!