My Sister’s Keeper

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I finished reading the book 2 days back and loved it. Why did it take me so long to pick it up?
An amazing book which really got me thinking.
It is about Anna… or is it about Kate? Kate is diagnosed with leukemia as a kid. Bone marrow transplant is one of the suggested treatments but neither her parents (Brian and Sara) or her brother (Jesse) are a match. The doc suggests that they can have another child who maybe a match. They make a designer baby… they pick out the genes needed for a baby with a perfect match and Anna is born. Her entire childhood is spent making donations- umbilical cord, platelets, stem cells, bone marrow and then, a kidney is needed. Thats when she hires a lawyer- Campbell to sue her parents. She wants the rights to her body and does not want to make any more donations. I will not reveal the end. The book is not so simple. It has separate chapters which are first person accounts of each person- Jesse, Anna, Kate, Sara, Brian, Campbell, Julia etc. I loved this style of writing. It would have been easy for the author to have taken sides- Kate or Anna. She could have made Sara seem like a negligent mother. But, when I read Sara’s account, I realized it is not so simple. Sara is a human being… she wants to save her daughter… she will do anything to keep her alive. At the same time, it is not humanly possible for her to manager everything- 2 other kids, husband, relationships, a dying daughter.
We forget that parents are humans and are bound to make mistakes. As kids, we hold it against them. They are expected to be perfect. And more often than not, parents don the superhuman role. They forget that they make mistakes and are not perfect.
Completely off the point, but a thought struck my mind. What if a parent said that he/she does not love his/her kid? Society.. anyone will be shocked to hear that. But it is possible, right? We cannot love everyone. Just like we don’t choose our parents… we do not choose our kids.
In India, parents don’t understand the meaning of “love”. Love is about liking a person. You cannot love someone you don’t like. It is about respecting the person.

I am not sure if parents even LIKE their kids.

Coming back to the book- fabulous. Please read it.

I watched the movie as well. Disappointing. I do understand that a movie cannot compete with a book. Never. But, the movie has focused on Kate and tried to turn on the audience’s tears. It has missed out on the interactions within the family… what each person is going through. Campbell is an amusing character in the book… in the movie, he has a few scenes. Jesse has been side tracked. Did not like the movie. It could have been better but has skipped the best parts of the book.

2 thoughts on “My Sister’s Keeper

  1. I believe your defintion of ‘love’ is a little short sighted. The English word ‘love’ is a single word encompassing many different kinds of love. The ancient Greeks had a better handle on this – they had 5 different word for love, which were:
    Agape, Eros, Philia, Storge and Xenia. I don’t want to copy-paste from Wikipedia so you can look up the differences there but the parent-child love was referred to as Storge while Eros was the term for passionate love b/w a husband and wife.

    and yes you can love everyone…it is the one thing that never runs out no matter how much of it you give away.


  2. I don’t think anyone’s definition of love can be “short sighted”… And irrespective of what wikipedia says (is it even a genuine source.. anyone can make entries in wiki), love is the same… whether it is between husband wife, friends, mother child, anyone… the difference is that there is an extra ingredient added… for husband wife it is passion… for mother child it is sacrifice etc.
    You cannot love someone you don’t like or respect irrespective of the relationship between the two people.
    And love does run it… it is also conditional… just like friendship.

    Btw, nice to know you are alive.

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