Imagine that you were conceived to be the donor of bone marrow and platelets for your older sister, who has a rare form of cancer. Imagine what it would be like to grow up in a family where everyone is constantly aware of one child’s deadly illness, so that all decisions must be filtered through what will work for her treatment or her most recent medical emergency. How can a 12-year-old decide against donating a kidney to her older sister?
By having this story narrated by each character in turn, Piccoult shows readers the dilemmas facing everyone involved. Slow paced due to each character having their own voice and lots of introspection. Beautiful language. The characters are well developed and it is not hard to find yourself relating to many of them. The ethical dilemma that haunts each of the book’s characters and the sense of urgency and pain throughout the novel is essential to the tone. Very interior and psychological in nature. 2004, 423 pages.