My niece, Paige, gave me a book for Christmas. She is a senior in high school and it was a book she had read in her English class. She loved it and because she loved it, I was very, very happy to receive the gift from her.
The problem was that it was a book by Jodi Picoult. Now, I don’t mean to be a book snob, certainly I have read some lousy books in my lifetime, and if we’re being honest, I’ve even bought a book or two at Target. But if you ever wander through the library in that store, you’ll find that Jodi Picoult has an entire aisle to herself! It’s true! It’s right across from the Harlequin Romances, which is why I have resisted any urges I may have had to read one of her books. But I wanted to read this one since it was a gift from my niece. And since I read mostly on the Metro, I covered the book with a cheesy, ill-fitting red book cover which gave the illusion that I was actually reading the Bible instead of a Jodi Picoult paperback. Not that I haven’t been called a Jesus Freak in the past, but with all the chortling and weeping I was doing, I was just a highlighter away from appearing a real fanatic!
Truth be told, however, My Sister’s Keeper is a pretty good book. For the most part. It’s one of those the-Chicken-or-the-Egg stories that really makes you think. It is the story of a child who was “created” by her parents for the purpose of saving her dying sister’s life and raises a lot of controversial issues along the way. It asks the deeper questions of life like how long you should keep fighting for something before you simply say, “Enough is enough”, and I was more than happy to battle away with myself to find the answers.
I am reminded of a scene in City of Angels where the doctor, played by Meg Ryan, sits on the stairway after losing a patient and wonders, when she is fighting for someone’s life ... WHO is she fighting?
Sometimes I feel like an author is tap-tapping away on her laptop developing some great characters and amazing story lines when all of a sudden she looks at the clock on the wall and says, “Crap! I gotta wrap this thing up!” While I did get a bit of that toward the end of this book, I was so busy balancing my little moral scale I didn’t even see Jodi coming at me with a baseball bat!
Ummmm ... ouch!
But the first of the two cheap shots she took was almost bearable. I quickly got back to my moral balancing act and was (although it sucked and it hurt and it made me cry) able to get through it. But the second shot, the unforgivable shot, came in the cute little wrap-it-up section of a book they like to call the Epilogue.
I wish I hadn’t read the epilogue. Sometimes I get so involved with the characters of a book, I simply can’t let them go. Hell, I’m still getting daily visits from Frank and Mamah and that was like 6 books ago. I don’t know how an author can create and mold a beautiful character and then give her a colossal slap across the face when she’s finished with her. I don’t get that. But, that is the very reason I will never read another Jodi Picoult book.