Sunday, June 29, 2008

Sibling stories

I am reading 'My Sister's Keeper' by Jodi Picoult and this is the second book I'm reading that has been authored by her; I finished reading the first one last week.

From what I've seen, there is a recurrent theme underlying her writing that juxtaposes legal and medical ramifications of the issue at hand. So we get to see a lot of courtroom and hospital drama, lot of lawyers' banter and doctor-patient interactions.

My Sister's Keeper is about the protagonist taking her parents to court for misusing her body to keep their elder daughter alive. The older sibling suffers from Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia and requires frequent blood transfusion and bone marrow transplants to help her tide over acute calamitous illnesses and keep imminent death at bay. The protagonist daughter was apparently procreated by artificial insemination methods - that combined her parents' chromosomes to achieve the best genetic combination that would serve her sister well - so that the younger one could be an allogeneic donor.

I remember reading about a real family like this in the Readers' Digest years ago. The sisters shared a sixteen year age difference and if I remember well, the title of that article went something like "they live because of each other". The siblings in the real story seemed happy and content; the older sister went into remission and then achieved permanent recovery at the end of the article, unlike the story I am reading now.

I share an eight year difference with my sister and sometimes I've even asked my mother if I was a conception arising from a second thought - to give my sister the sibling she craved for. Of course, my sister played mischief with me throughout my childhood convincing me that I was an adopted kid - an infant lying in a garbage bin who aroused her compassion enough to convince our parents that I should be brought home and into the family! I've long outgrown this conviction, but I think somewhere it touched me so much that I have become a firm believer in adoption.

Apparently, it's commonplace among siblings - the elder one torturing the younger one with spooky adoption stories. I'll be comforted by the thought that I wasn't the only one to have been bluffed.

So coming back to the book, I am really enthu to read about what happens of the plot, the courtroom drama that ensues and the final judgment.

Her last book, 'Plain Truth' gave me a detailed narrative of the life of the Amish tribe. I'm looking forward to learning something new from Jodi Picoult again.


Meera said...

The plot seems rivetting , to say the least. As a single child, I have always wondered about sibling dynamics, especially in cases where the age difference is substantial. It has only made me feel wickedly fortunate that 'my existence wasn't someone else's insistence'.

Ramya said...

You were, you know, found and picked up...

Abinav Kumar said...

Jodi Picoult, eh?! Seems to be a good read! Have never tried a novel with a medical backdrop yet. Nope. No Robin Cook yet. So - Jodi Picoult it is going to be I guess.