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My Sister's Keeper
By: Jodi Picoult
About the Author..
Jodi Picout was born in 1966. She attended Princeton University for her undergraduate studies. She then attended Harvard, where she received her Master Degree in Education. While Picout was in school, Seventeen magazine published a couple of her short stories. After she graduated she worked a few jobs to earn a living, as a technical writer, wrote for an advertising agency, and taught 8th grade English. Jodi has nearly 14 million copies of her books throughout the U.S. Her work has been translated into 34 languages in 35 different countries. She mainy writes about teen suicides to school shootings. Picout has earned a huge amount of fans.
: Anna is thirteen years old, youngest out of three. She was born to be the perfect donor match for Kate, her older sister. She has gone through many surgeries during her life so she can help cure her sister. When she finds out that she has to donate a kidney to Kate, Anna sues her parents for the rights to her own body, which would lead to Kate's death.
: Anna, Kate, and Jesse’s mother. Sara is over-protective of Kate and will do anything to keep her alive. Before Kate was diagnosed with APL, Sara used to be a lawyer. She represents herself during the court case.
: Anna, Kate and Jesse’s father. He’s a fire fighter. And he is more on Annas side.
: Anna and Jesse’s sister. When Kate was 2, she was diagnosed with APL. She was cured but had another very serious relapse when she was 5. Her kidneys are failing and her parents wanted Anna to give her a kidney but Kate secretly told her not to because she wanted to die.
: Kate's boyfriend. Taylor has AML also and is 2 years older than Kate. They met at the hospital and went to a hospital dance together. He dies a day after the prom, leading Kate devestated.
: Anna and Kate’s brother. He does drugs and drinks a lot. Throughout the novel, he sets buildings on fire. Brian finds out that it was Jesse starting the fires and forgives him.
: Anna’s lawyer. Campbell has epilepsy and has a service dog, Judge. Campbell also dated Julia in high school.
: Campbell's service dog.
: Sara’s sister, Kate, Anna, and Jesse’s aunt. Zanne is wealthy and always wants to babysit the children when Kate has a relapse.
: Kate's doctor and close family friend. Dr. Chance speaks in the trial and doesn't know if the kidney transplant will be helpful to Kate.
Plot and Historical Context..
This takes place in modern day Providence, Rhode Island in 2003. Anna older sister, Kate, suffers from
acute myelocytic leukemia
,(aml), a blood and bone marrow cancer. Anna was conceived to match Kates DNA perfectly. Kate has relapsed multiple times since all of Anna’s surguries that has helped Kate greatly. But when Kate needs a Kidney, Anna refuses and files for a lawsuit. Anna finds Campbell Alexander, a successful lawyer, she wants to right to her own body. Anna's mother, Sara, is an ex-lawyer and decides to represent herself and her husband in the lawsuit. Over the course of the novel, she tries on several occasions to make Anna drop the lawsuit. This tears Anna and Sara’s relationship apart causing Anna to live at the fire department with Brian, her father. Anna's brother Jesse, who has spent most of his life being ignored is doing drugs and setting buildings on fire. During the trial, it is said that Kate asked Anna to sue for emancipation because she did not want Anna to have to be hurt anymore because she knew she wasn’t strong enough to live anyways. The judge rules in Anna's favor. While Campbell was driving Anna and himself back home after the trial, their car was hit by an oncoming truck. Brian finds them to Anna who is unconcious and Campbell, whos arm is crushed. Brian then immediately rushes them to the hospital. After being there for several hours the doctor tells them that Anna is brain-dead, and that the machines keeping her are no use. Campbell jumps in and adds that Kate upstairs could use her kidney. Kate is then prepped for surgery, and Anna's kidney is transplanted. Kate survives the surgery. Campbell and Julia get married.Anna passes away for her sister’s life.
This novel jumps from place to place from time to time. It mainly takes place in their house, the beach,or the hospital where Kate and Anna are always undergoing surgury.
Themes, Motifs, and Symbols..
Bond between siblings
- this book makes you realize how far you would actually go for your brother/sister, and that would do anything to keep them safe.
- Campbells bond with Anna rekindles his high school love with Julia
- The fire represents all of the Fitzgerald's relationships in the house. Fire is warm and destroys things which we have both of in this family. Anna and Kates relationship is warm and cozy while Anna and Sara's relationship is sreading and being destroyed.
1. What motivates Anna to file the lawsuit?
2. Does Brian and Sara treat their kids equally?
3. Sara’s chapters take place almost entirely in the past. What is the purpose for this?
4. Why is Sara the one who tells us about Taylor, Kates boyfriend?
5. Which character changes the most, and which changes the least?
6. How does Julia and Campbell’s relationship fit into the storyline of the Fitzgerald family?
"The Washington Post - Katherine Arie
Picoult is at her best, and most moving, when writing from the perspective of Anna's mother, Sara. Exhausted by Kate's recurrent illness, Sara is often on edge and overwhelmed. But she is also focused Her tenacity, her vigilance and her support during Kate's aggressive cancer treatments all give Kate a reason to live. Mothering takes on new meaning, and the mundane becomes surreal Kate's goldfish, according to the oceanologist Sara consults in a desperate effort to save the pet's life, requires bottled water, and the mere thought of buying Jesse a new pair of soccer cleats after Kate relapses seems downright obscene."
"My Sister’s Keeper is a poignant, uplifting, emotional, sad, triumphant, passionate, heartwrenching and extremely powerful story about the Fitzgeralds, a family united in their love for each other but divided on exactly where the boundaries of family obligations, love and sacrifice should end. But it is, ultimately, a story of two sisters, the unbreakable bond they share and how totally entwined they have been all their lives until a crucial decision threatens to tear them apart and ends up changing all the lives forever."
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