Monday, May 2, 2011

My sister's keeper

I finished reading My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult over 24 hours ago.  I had to sit and stew on this one for a while, because I couldn't say what I wanted to say.

What I really want to talk about is the ending.  But, I can't talk about the ending, because I want people to read this book without knowing how it's going to end.  So I will have to leave the ending alone, at least for now.

So what I'm going to talk about is characterization.  Picoult tells this story using six different points of view.  Six characters surrounding the girl who is dying of leukemia give their perspective on the court case that will decide if she gets her sisters kidney.  It's hard enough to get inside one person's head, let alone six.  Picoult makes it look easy.  This story reads as if you are a confessor for the six characters, with them visiting you periodically and telling you what has happened and what they are thinking.  But here's the thing, you can't fully trust any of them.  All six of these people have secrets that they aren't willing to share with anyone.  Some secrets they even manage to keep from themselves.  And you are fully aware that they aren't quite giving you the full truth.  You are left to come to the best conclusions you can with the limited information you have.

And it works perfectly for this story that lives in the world of gray.  If you want black and white answers, leave this book alone.

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