My Sister's Keeper My Sister's Keeper discussion


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Why did Sara and Brian really have Anna?

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message 1: by Ashley (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:10PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ashley I am currently reading this book and so far I'm thinking that the only reason Sara and Brian had Anna was to use her as a donor. I don't think they love her as a regular child. It seems they only pay attention to Anna when her blood, bone marrow or stem cells are needed.It's as if Anna is an anatomical storage center.


What do you think?


message 2: by Mona (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:23PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mona Bender Yes, they orginally have her basically as a donor child. I really get the feeling that Sara more than Brian really sees her strickly as a donor. I get the feeling that Brian thought the donation part would be over after they harvested the cord. However, Sara saw Anna as the only saving force for Kate. As Kate's mother she would sacrifice anything for her child and she expected everyone to do the same. But just as she loved Kate, she also love Jesse and Anna but they just didn't need her like Kate did. She was just so focused on Kate and eveyone else just sort of faded. It really shows that we as people shouldn't barrow trouble. Here it was alway Kate won't be with us long so we need to gather as many memories of her and try to prolong her life as much as possible. Then she was blind sided by Anna. Won't say more unless you have finished.


message 3: by Allie (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:28PM) (new)

Allie I think it depends on the parent. Anna's father is willing to listen to her and give her the time of day. Her Mother soley see's her as donor. A collection of parts to save Kate. But the why Jodi Picoult writes, you can't quite hate Sara, but you defintely don't like her.


Sarmala Rose Pearce I feel for Brian, he loves Anna as a daughter. There were time when he didn't agree with her mother and didn't want Anna to be a donor. He is torn however, how can he true to Anna and Kate and his wife all at the same time when they all want very different things...no matter who he chooses to support someone is going to get hurt. He is stuck right in the middle. Her mother on the other hand only sees Anna as a donor bank. She does not let Anna be a child, I don't feel that Sara really loves her daughter as a child, she loves her as Kates rescuer which is really sad for Anna. However, despite the fact that it is hard to sympathise with Sara (in my personal opinion at least), no one could really past judgement unless they have been in a situation like this themselves. What would you do if you had a child with leukaemia?



Leanne Brian most definately loves his daughter Anna. He realises that that striving to keep Kate alive is having a really bad affect on his family. I think he also realises that Kate is tired and it's time to let go. I have a feeling that Annas lawsuit may actually be on Kate's request as Anna loves her sister so much. If it was me with Kate I am not sure I would be any different than Sara...what parent could let their child die if there was a chance, even if it was slight?


Jamie I can't help but think that both parents originally intended that Anna be the donor just that one time. I think that Anna's mom, in living in crisis for so many years, became warped in the same sense that a drug addict begins to think that they can put the needle down at any point. She is also worried about how Anna will be affected by living with the knowledge that she could have saved her sister, but chose for her to die. I don't think that Sara knew what she wanted, only focused on what she didn't want, which in turn created an ungodly mess.


message 7: by Amy (new) - rated it 5 stars

Amy I don't think there is just one motive for Anna's existence. I think the spark that created Anna is the hope to be a donor for Kate, but you can't deny that both Brian and Sara love Anna. There is a tangle of emotions, and i think ideally both parents want what's best for all of their children. Even Jesse. I don't at all think the ending is what's 'best for anna.' it was what was best for the book, but how can you say, if it were a real life, it is what is best for Anna?


message 8: by Ashley (last edited Jun 19, 2008 03:18PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ashley I do think they Brian and Sara only had Anna so they could USE her as a "life-savor" for her sister Kate. In my opinion, I dont think having a child so you can use them should be legal. In the catagorical imperative, it says not to use a person only for a means and in this case that is exactly what Anna was used for.


message 9: by Jenn (new) - rated it 1 star

Jenn So Jodi Picoult could write a sappy, predictable book.


Ashley I dont know about predictable... Anna dying came as a complete shock to me... I never predicted she would die.


message 11: by Jenn (new) - rated it 1 star

Jenn I knew she would die as soon as I started the book. Our teacher told us who all of the characters were and I knew she would die from then on.


message 12: by Paula (last edited May 11, 2008 10:35PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Paula somewhat a spoiler.
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I am usually pretty darn good at predicting storyline outcomes but I didn't think that would have happened. Almost like Anna served her orginal purpose in life...why she was brought into the world to begin with. She fulfilled the "obligation" in the end...


Mehreen Well since the ending has already been given away, I think it was sad that the way the story was written, both Anna and Kate could not survive. I was completely blindsided and devastated by the ending. I think that Anna was originally conceived so the cord could be used for Kate, but I don't think her parents didn't love her. Her mother was put in a tough situation, she was torn and didn't really handle it all that well, but I don't think she saw Anna as a speciment to harvest from for Kate's sake. She saw a chance for one daughter to save another and wasn't willing to take no for an answer, but I don't think she would actually put Anna at risk. I think the book was very well written and heartbreaking. I've only read one other book by her, The Pact, and it was exactly the same way. You never see the ending coming, it makes you angry, and you need a box of tissues the whole way along.


Sarah0815 I wouldn't say predictable. I had no idea it was kate's idea to start the whole lawsuit thing and I definetly didn't predict anna's death. For the discussion question : I think that at the beginning, they only expected to use Anna as a donor that one time. Brian loves her as a daughter now, but I think Sara is torn. She seems to love Kate more and want to save her. It seems that she would do anything to help Kate, even risk her other daughter's death. At the beginning, they were just using Anna it seemed, she was just a tool to help Kate survive, but now.. she can say yes or no to whether she wants to help save her sister and risk dying, or not save her sister and stay healthy. Tricky, huh?


message 15: by Kat (new) - rated it 4 stars

Kat Helgeson I feel like it's very clear that Brian, at least, loves Anna very much. He gives her a special name, spends time with her, doesn't push her for answers when she refuses to donate her kidney...The end, of course, makes it very clear that Anna is loved by both parents. They spend as much time with her as they do with Jesse - admittedly a reduced amount of time, since Kate takes up so much of their time and attention. They also fought bitterly about whether Anna's donorship would continue after infancy. To write off Anna's existence as nothing more than biological storage is much more flippant than what her parents do when they think of her.


Erika since the ending has already been talked about...


i, at first, also hated Sara. i also think it was clearly talked about in the book that they thought it would only be the cord blood needed from Anna, she wasn't born to constantly be giving to her sister. i think that's what threw Sara for a loop, was the fact that there had been no problems, Anna and Kate were like best friends and Anna always was more that willing to help Kate...so when she refused to donate the kidney (or, as i thought of it and as someone else pointed out, wanted to make it 100% her decision, not her parents') Sara was completely knocked off balance. i think she really couldn't wrap her head around the idea that Kate didn't want to fight anymore. her attention went too much to Kate, but her love was equal, and Anna's situation was something that Sara almost gave no second thought to...it was just how their family worked.


Heather My sister is mentally handicapped, and I think this book presented a pretty darn good perspective of a mother dealing with a sick child. My sister wasn't on the verge of death, however, I remember my mother saying that she was so afraid, it was like waiting for her to die. One day, I was hit by a car, hardly even injured, and my mom said it was then she realized that she could lose any of her kids in an instant. Still, it's hard to spread attention around. My parents did compensate with toys, clothes, etc. because my sister did get more attention - she had to. There are no easy answers and I think this book did an excellent job of potraying every side. My sisters and I went through different phases, we hated my sister, we loved her, we resented her. Bottom line - I loved the book.


message 18: by [deleted user] (new)

Heather....I feel your pain and your love!


Emily Anna was originally made to help Kate with the doctors because able to use the umbilical cord.
But when reading the Sara's part about when she was pregnant and giving birth really got to me. You can tell she was not emotionally attached to Anna at all, unlike her husband. She put no thought into when she was having this Anna other than the fact that it was to save Kate, and you can really see it as well as she is growing up too. She did not put Anna's feeling into anything. After all of the surgeries she would go to Kate, and even try to argue to stay with her saying "she needs me more".

It was easy to see that Brain was actually more emotionally connected to Anna because he showed her affection as Sara was pregnant with her, she was made to help her sister but he still saw her as a living being. As soon as Sara had her, all she cared about was the umbilical cord. She didn't hold her or even seem to decide a name for her until hours later. She litterly called her an "it" and " the other one". She might have loved Anna but it was not for the right teasons.

It was easy to see that as she grew up too. She said how Anna was only doing the trial for attention. And then when she wanted to go to the hockey camp, all she cared about was needed her there to help Kate if something went wrong. She was willing to constantly sacrifice Anna's feelings and life because she didn't want to let go of Kate. All of those things that she put Anna through were very selfish. I can understand the fact of wanting to save your child, but I don't think it is right to bring another one into the world for the solution.

In a way the ending is bitter sweet because she came into the world to be on organ donor, and that's what she left the world as. In a way I would consider that to be karma. My sympathy is more with the father though than the mother. (That's just how I feel though)


Athena I listened to the audiobook of this a few years ago and I'm still completely disgusted by the ending. Anna spent the entire book fighting for her own autonomy and, in the end, it was taken from her even after she'd won her case. It seemed like the author was just trying to avoid a difficult ending by letting Kate die or Anna refuse to save her.
As for the mother, I dreaded any time one of her sections came around. The way she treated her children made my blood boil, and after Anna's death, she doesn't show even a shred of guilt - even though it was her fault Anna was in the car accident in the first place. If her mother had thought of her as anything but a pile of spare parts, she wouldn't have been in court that day and could have lived.


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