Having come across a couple of very excellent books recently, I decided that it wouldn't be too far afield for me to offer some book reviews here. (After all, the Guardienne does believe in making every effort to encourage everyone to read more.)
On Target's Bookmarked list is My Sister's Keeper by New York Times bestselling author Jodi Picoult. You can read the book jacket here. The book explores a family in which the elder sister Kate is sick with leukemia, and her younger sister Anna was conceived as a perfect genetic match to help with her sister's therapy. The book takes off the rose-colored glasses for a real look into the workings of a family dealing with a child's illness, and the decisions each family members makes - particularly the choices Anna makes as she grows older and questions her role as Kate's constant donor. Specifically, the book explores the difficulties of asserting the standing up for oneself in light of how that decision imapacts loved ones, and makes the reader examine the darker points of their own humanity. A nice piece that reminds us that most people are neither good nor bad, but a gray combination of the two, and highlights how the "miracles" of modern science do not solve problems...they just give us new ones to tackle.
I promise you - you will laugh. You'll cry. You'll see the story from every person's perspective, and find yourself judging the family members. Then you'll judge yourself for having judged them. You'll sympathize, and analyze, and the questions the book brings up will resonate with you long after you've put it down. Think about it as grown-up Judy Blume material, where the author doesn't have to worry about offending anyone's delicate sensibilities by painting life realistically.
On a more personal note, Mom sent me Picoult's book for my birthday, and while I finished it in a few hours (I recommend having chocolate and tissues on hand before diving into this one), I find myself thinking of it at odd hours when my brain wanders, adn I still haven't answered the question of "What would I do?" The sign, I believe, of a truly worthwhile novel.