My Sister's Keeper My Sister's Keeper discussion


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the mother

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message 1: by Erin (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:02AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Erin I found myself angry with the mother more than sympathetic, which I would never have expected. I'd love to hear what other people's thoughts were on that character. It almost seemed that while working so hard to save one child's life, she really did sacrifice the quality of those of her other two children.


message 2: by Jenny (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:02AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jenny I agree with you, but I also felt sympathy for her. Jodi Picoult was so great at taking such a controversy and making your feel for both sides.


message 3: by Liz (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:02AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Liz Does anyone understand the quote at the beginning? Is it supposed to be Kate saying it? I don't get it!


message 4: by Hannah (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:04AM) (new)

Hannah Young That passage at the beginning is Anna talking, Liz (or how I intepret it anyway) but it doesn't come up in the book because she says her father found her and say: "That...never happened." So it's never mentioned again in the bulk of the novel.

My reasoning that it's not Kate (although it could be because both of them "didn't seem to exist, except in relation to her." But it says "I am three years old" and because Kate is three years older than Anna, Anna would have been a newborn and wou;dn't be eating the cereal the narrator talks about sprinkling poison in. Sorry for the long reply :)

I think Sara is a good character. I felt a lot of symapthy for her, namely because she lived in the past so much. I think her entries were the only ones which went into the past (dated 1997, etc.) so I think that gave us a really clear window to how much she was hurting. I liked Brian more though!


message 5: by lauren (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:05AM) (new)

lauren wait, you mean that it was kate talking at the very beginning.

i'm pretty sure it was kate saying how she once tried to smother anna in her crib when anna was a baby. and at the end of the book, kate felt responsible for anna's death because she had asked anna to refuse to donate her kidney, which led to being at the courthouse, and we all know how that ended up.


message 6: by Hannah (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:05AM) (new)

Hannah Young I suppose it could be, but if that's the case I don't see why she would have thought about putting poison in the cereal of a newborn as newborns don't eat cereal...


message 7: by sue (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:05AM) (new)

sue hulighan I haven't finished reading the book, so I probably shouldn't be reading the comments.....but to me the book is presenting an issue that has no right or wrong answer. Each person would have to make their own personal decision....much like the pro choice issue.


message 8: by Ashley (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:06PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ashley I'm currently reading the book( didn't bother to read the above comments so not to spoil the book). So far I HATE THE MOTHER. She has three kids and only pays attention to one and because of it Jesse is drinking, smoking, doing drugs and even setting fires and getting away with it!!. And Anna, poor Anna. I question the mother's love for Anna. It seems the mother just treats Anna as Medical Equipment Storage Room. Anna is only paid attention to when shes needed to give blood, stem cells, and bone marrow. I just want to shake the mother and say "WAKE UP, YOU HAVE TWO OTHER KIDS WHO NEED YOUR UNDIVIDED LOVE AND ATTENTION. LOOK AT THE WAY YOU ARE TREATING ANNA. PAY ATTENTION AT HOW SHE FEELS. LOOK AT JESSE. JEEZE, AND YOU CALL YOURSELF A PARENT!!!. anyone else feel this way about the mother?


message 9: by Amy (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:38PM) (new) - added it

Amy Ashley, I agree. I can't imagine how hard it must be to have a child that seriously ill, but being a mother means that you can't forget the other children you have, too. And breeding Anna strictly for her ability to provide parts and blood for Kate is beyond the pale. It's one thing to have another child because you love it and want it, and another entirely to use as spare parts.

I felt sorry for her, being in the position she was in, but that doesn't excuse the way she treated Anna. She should never have taken for granted that Anna would want to have all those procedures, and undergo an operation that could have serious health risks for herself. To me, that's just inexcuseable. And the way she reacted when she found out that Anna had gotten a lawyer???

And poor Jesse. He wasn't even getting the attention that Anna was, bad as it was. He was just forgotten and ignored. No wonder he was acting that way. I hated Sarah.


Becky Sanchez I just finished this book, and I felt a great deal of sympathy for Sara. Most of the tears I shed (& good grief, there were alot of them) were reading her POV. Of course the book focused on the crisis times, however, there were many times that Anna looked back at her life & seemed to have very good memories of her mother expressing love, concern, patience, etc. Unfortunately, Sara was consumed by Kate's illness, and if anyone has had a child with any type of serious problems, much less a deadly illness, it's easy to become consumed. Because she was so wrapped up in Kate's health, she expected everyone else to be, as well. I think Brian was able to see things differently because he went to work each day, it seemed, no matter what. He seemed to love all 3 of his children the same, because he didn't take responsibility for the daily care & feeding of Kate, and all of the emotional extremes that went with it. It would be more reasonable for him to have a more objective POV.


Foxyroxy I hate Sara. She is manipulative throughout the entire book. During the trial the only reason she starts to exhibit compassion for Anna is to get the kidney for Kate. I may get a public beating for this but Sara should have let Kate die at a young age. Sara was selfish and kept her daughter alive without regard to Kate's quality of life. Her selfishness to keep her daughter alive caused pain and emotional abuse to her entire family. To conceive Anna for her parts is disgusting as people are not cars. I believe Sara told Brian that she only wanted to do it for the umbilical cord when she knew from the beginning that she would want to farm Anna out to Kate if needed. It was two in the morning last night when I got to the epilogue and I was too angry to keep reading. I'll have to read it but if it ends with Kate talking about how her life is a special miracle and she misses her sister so, I think I will be very dissapointed in the fairy tale ending. I always have a hard time when books, movies, etc. want you to triumph for the antagonist which is what Sara is for sure and in a way Kate is because of the request to die that she puts on Anna.
There were no good or certain choices for the characters and everyone lost in the end. It is a very thought provoking and Picoult has a witty prose.


Fatema Ashley wrote: "I'm currently reading the book( didn't bother to read the above comments so not to spoil the book). So far I HATE THE MOTHER. She has three kids and only pays attention to one and because of it Jes..."

me


Fatema Hannah wrote: "That passage at the beginning is Anna talking, Liz (or how I intepret it anyway) but it doesn't come up in the book because she says her father found her and say: "That...never happened." So it's n..."

the beginning passage is anna expressing how she sometimes felt about her sister. she also said that her sister died because(view spoiler)


Joann(san diego shutterbug) unfortunately it does happen. i havent seen the movie but i am sure its more sad that the book. i cried i was angry.. It is wrong what she did to bring anna into this world just for that reason. Isnt it a true story?


Nora aka Diva Not exactly a true story perhaps you were thinking of the true case that made headlines about 20 years ago.
Born to save sister’s life


Joann(san diego shutterbug) I am not sure where i heard it from. But somebody said that My sisters keeper was a true story. Idk..


Amanda She really angered me too. I can feel for her in that it must be so awful to have a child be so sick but she definitely treated Anna as a lesser being I feel. She was there simply to treat Kate and I feel she had no understanding of what Anna must be feeling. She should have been able to live her life as the child she is and not have to feel guilty about it. It is not her fault her sister is so sick and she was born simply to treat Kate. I can't imagine how that poor child must feel. And in a way I feel more sympathy for her than I do Kate.


http://divaliciouzbookreviews.blogspo...


Jenny I HATED the mother in the book!!!!!!! She acted like she didn't love Anna and I was never really sure if she did or not. As far as she was concerned, she had 1 daughter. She totally ignored her other 2 children and I really felt sorry for the boy. He was so lost and everything he was doing just screamed for his parents to see, and love him. It was a great story, but such a screwed up family.


message 19: by Hoda (new) - rated it 5 stars

Hoda Marmar I hated the mom!!! She sucks!!!


message 20: by Priscila (last edited Jun 24, 2012 06:49PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Priscila I hate her. I really hate her. I just have a feeling of punching her in the face! Doesn't she care for Anna? Dammit!! She is only concerned about Kate (and it's ok but GOD!) She is so selfish, using Anna as an storage room and when she stands up for herself SHE feels offended!! I think Sara never really cared about her or Jesse...I am really angry :/ Since the moment when she talks about having another baby just to save the other kid... still haven't finished the book and I don't think I want to
I think she is annoying


Julianna I think the perfect quote for Sara's situation is in her testimony when she says "What if you had one child stuck in a burning building and only your other child knew the way to save her." (or something along those lines) It's a moral dilemma, one that is very difficult to judge until you've been in that situation yourself. Sara did the best she could without trying to choose one child over another.


Fatema hate the mother but sympathize with her


message 23: by Sara (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sara I can't figure out how I feel about Sara. I think that Sara's whole thing was that Jesse and Anna were alive and healthy while Kate was dieing. So she put all other problems to the side and concentrated on getting Kate alive and healthy like her other children. I did hate her sometimes for doing that, buy other times I sympathised with her for this because I think she felt like that was the only way to handle the situatiion. Even so I hated her for not seeing Anna's side even when Anna went to her and told her she wasn't happy with the situation. The whole making Anna as if she was like a car or something made me sick, that poor child. Jodi Picoult is amazing though at really getting you thinking about wrong and right and where you draw the line.


Nicole I hated the mother completely. I don't think she loved her 'spare parts baby' at all


Julianna I think she loves all her kids- but just gives a lot more attention to Kate- which means she sometimes neglects Jesse and Anna.


Megan Quinn I disliked the mom in the book. I think she only focused on Kate (I get she was ill) and totally neglected her other two children. Her child told her she didn't want to donate anymore and had to SUE her mother to get her point across. I think the mother never really thought of how it all effect Anna just how to get Kate better. Jesse was just ignored like he served no purpose to his mom. He was out drinking, setting fires and got away with it.


message 27: by Chantelle (new) - added it

Chantelle I did sympathize with her, but I did not like her at all. She kept saying how much she loved Anna, and of course she did, she was her child - but it was clear that she cared for Kate more than her other two children, even if she claimed that all her attention was on Kate due to the leukemia. Also, her and the father both said at some point in the book that they had given up on Jesse and had learned not to expect anything from him. What I don't understand, then, is how she can claim to love all her children equally, yet completely disregard Anna unless she was donating some part of her body to Kate,and not care enough for Jesse's well being to give him the guidance he needs.


Aliyah Chantelle wrote: "I did sympathize with her, but I did not like her at all. She kept saying how much she loved Anna, and of course she did, she was her child - but it was clear that she cared for Kate more than her ..."

Agreed, I think that Sara is the type of mother that favours one child over the other. Because if she cared about her other children, she would have let Kate die. In the novel, Kate reveals that she didn't want to live anymore.


message 29: by Boss (new) - rated it 5 stars

Boss Sorry to say that "hate" is an understatement for what I feel for the mom... yeah she's stuck in a "moral dilemma" as some would put it but GET REALLY... Yes as a mother I would do whatever it took to save my daughter's life but at MY OWN COST... I WOULD NOT sacrifice another life (which, in this case, is ALSO my daughter) for me to accomplish that...

I mean think of what they both would feel in the long run... one would feel like a used doll only to be thrown away after it's done its purpose (which is to give whatever she can to her sister and then some) and the other living with the heavy guilt of having to take from her sister knowing that it was her fault that her loved ones suffer...

Now you tell me... what kind of mother -- of human -- would do that to those they proclaim to "love"???

In my opinion, the mother is selfish for having to doom her daughters to such fate... not to mention dragging down her son and husband along with her...


Aliyah Yes! The mom was like a slave-runner. My only favourite characters I'm this book was Anna and Julia (the lawyer).


message 31: by Mel (new) - rated it 4 stars

Mel I agree with Aliyah. I found only Anna and Julia to be worth-while characters. I was deeply disturbed by this book and that's why I stopped reading anything written by Jodi Picoult. I just can't get invested in someone who writes things that just traumatize me and leave me haunted for days. I read for pleasure, not pain. I didn't even bother with the film...


Melenie Wow! While I don't agree with the way the mother handled things, or ignored her other children, I can see how this could (and does) happen. So many judgmental words for a situation that so few have been in!! As the mother of a child who has now recovered from cancer (leukemia to be exact!) I can not only see how a mother could make the choice to have a child in hopes of saving another, but also unintentionally drop the ball with her other kids. This was actually an option we considered at one point. I don't know any parent who starts this journey intending to sacrifice one child for another. It is VERY common for siblings to donate bone marrow and blood to sick siblings whether they were born for this purpose or not. We even knew several families who opted to have another child with one of the main reasons being to bank cord blood for another seriously ill child. When a family has a critically ill child, the illness often becomes the center of their existence (even if it's just a short time). While no one wants to hurt any of their children, you can not fault her for wanting to save her dying child. I've seen people go to extraordinary lengths in the hope of curing someone they love, especially their child. Judge her for her character flaws, but remember it's very easy to condemn choices made by others in a situation you know NOTHING about!


Melenie And for the record, the ending of the book is ridiculous!! A child that sick, that far gone, is not going to be suddenly "cured" by a kidney transplant and live a long healthy life. Geesh! The movie has a far better ending.


Kirstyn I was too angry at the mother but I could see why she did some of the things she did. She was trying to save her child, basic mothering instinct. Not that that necessarily justifies her actions.


Madeleine I could not stand the mother. I didn't feel she loved Anna enough, and Anna's death was kind of this result of, "You sired this child for this very reason, so now that she can't fulfill that purpose she's useless to you." And she was making the decision for the kidney transplant not just for Anna, but for Kate. She was ridiculous, and her fixation on one child was so painful to read. I felt so bad for the other two kids. I couldn't sympathize with her anymore. She just wanted Anna to be her little organ-donor.


Bridget Kennedy I agree, I was so angry with her throughout the book. Some times i felt rage towards her. I think they portrayed her in the movie to have people feel bad for her more then in the book.


message 37: by Ari (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ari I tried very hard to put myself in the mothers POV, but still, I could not get over the fact that she was using her other two children for the sake of the one, yes, it was terrible that she had cancer, but ignoring all of your children for one with bigger problems... it's inexcusable. I hated the mother, she used Anna in more ways than one.


Diana Adhiambo I think it's easy to judge her when you don't have any kids. You don't even need to have experience of having a sick child, I think just having kids should change your interpretation of Mrs. Fitz's character. With this said, I don't have any kids and I found myself bringing up the morality card very often. But Picoult drew this character out in ways that the reader got torn between being angry at her or feeling sorry for her. Personally I felt angry at her for the most part because Brian was more rational and considered both his daughters as individuals rather than one complementing the other. It felt to me like Sarah only noticed Anna when Kate needed a spare part and I don't think I would neglect my kid like she did Jesse. There were very few instances where she had any kind of conversation with Jesse, all I remember of her conversations with him were when when she was reprimanding him or when Jesse unknowingly made tongue-in-cheek comments about Kate dying and in those instances the conversations just died out. I don't think I would do what she did to Anna, all those surgeries technically took away her life and that was just as bad as letting Kate die without trying any of the procedures. I'm sure parenting is tough but children have to be seen as people with feelings before anything else.


Diana Adhiambo Melenie wrote: "And for the record, the ending of the book is ridiculous!! A child that sick, that far gone, is not going to be suddenly "cured" by a kidney transplant and live a long healthy life. Geesh! The m..."

I preferred the movie's ending too. The book's ending was way too tragic.


Diana Adhiambo Julianna wrote: "I think the perfect quote for Sara's situation is in her testimony when she says "What if you had one child stuck in a burning building and only your other child knew the way to save her." (or some..."

Taking that quote from her literally, I don't think I would send my kid into a fire just to save my other child and risk losing both. In the book's concept,in the long-run those procedures forced on Anna might not have worked for Kate and then Anna would have had to live the rest of her life not being able to do most of the things she would have loved to do and she'd probably end up hating her mother for taking away her life which would cost Sarah both of her daughters.


Julianna It was either that or just let Kate die- that would be bad parenting, just giving up on a 2 year old and saying"yeah you're going to die"


Diana Adhiambo Julianna wrote: "It was either that or just let Kate die- that would be bad parenting, just giving up on a 2 year old and saying"yeah you're going to die""

But Anna was only meant to donate the cord blood but her mom got greedy and kept pushing for more even when the doctors told her there was very little hope for Kate's survival.


message 43: by Lucy (new) - rated it 2 stars

Lucy I'm angry with the mother or better with the author of this book .
I read it because everyone was talking about it but afterwards I never read any of her books.


Whitney I think the mother is selfish. Yes Kate is sick, but why bring another life into the world specifically to cater to it's sibling? I think it's a sick and totally immoral decision by the mother. I'm not quite sure where I stand on the ethics of even having such a decision available. I'm sure in different circumstances with a less selfish mother, it'd be a totally different story. I hate Sarah, she's a terrible mother to her other children.


lover-of-good-books Erin wrote: "I found myself angry with the mother more than sympathetic, which I would never have expected. I'd love to hear what other people's thoughts were on that character. It almost seemed that while work..."

I totally agree. I mean, the fact that you only had the younger child to be a donor for the older daughter and then deprived her of a childhood (no sleep overs, no sports, no real friends) just so she was on standby just in case the older sister got sick angered me. The fact that she hit the girl because she was suing for rights to her body pissed me off beyond belief.


lover-of-good-books Melenie wrote: "Wow! While I don't agree with the way the mother handled things, or ignored her other children, I can see how this could (and does) happen. So many judgmental words for a situation that so few ha..."

I can see how you could feel some sort of way about the situation and yes it is a common practice for kids to donate parts of themselves to save a sibling, but I think the issue comes with that donating child having a choice.

You mentioned that you considered having a child in order to save your child that was sick. I get it. It's in a parents gut to do whatever they have to do to save their child. Kudos.

The issue arises when you sacrifice your child for the other. No surgery is safe. People die from anesthesia everyday. Having a child donate a bone marrow or blood is one thing, but having a perfectly healthy child go under such invasive surgeries that could kill them (hence why you sign a waiver before surgery happens) without sitting down and telling them what they could face and giving them a choice is wrong!

I don't care who you're trying to save. Everyone should have a choice and as an underaged human being, kids are often not given a choice. The parents have a right to make those decisions and I personally don't think that's fair.


Julianna Whether Anna was Kate's donor or not she still wouldn't have had a traditional childhood- either it would be under the shadow of Kate's ill was or under the shadow I'd Kate's death


message 48: by Mel (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mel I guess desperate times calls for desperate measures. Any parent would go to the end of the world and back if it meant their child would be healthy. I guess Sara kind of neglected Jesse and Anna as they were growing up because she felt her priority was with Kate, since she was practically on the verge of death - so compared to that, Jesse and Anna's problems seemed almost trivial to her. That's a sign of a good author though, having characters with flaws instead of making them perfect. Afterall, they have to develop somehow.


message 49: by Ama (new) - rated it 3 stars

Ama Ashley,i totally agree with you.as a parent your priority is to all your children.hope am right..


message 50: by [deleted user] (new)

Jenny wrote: "I agree with you, but I also felt sympathy for her. Jodi Picoult was so great at taking such a controversy and making your feel for both sides."

She IS great at that, so glad I am not the only one who feels that about her, just great!


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