Study Guide

My Sister's Keeper Family

By Jodi Picoult

Family

You've probably heard the term "nuclear family" before. If not, it has nothing to do with radiation, causing your mom to have two heads and your dad to have three eyes. A nuclear family is just the parents and children. Forget grandparents, aunts, uncles, and third cousins twice removed.

My Sister's Keeper is definitely a book about the nuclear family. We see Aunt Suzanne a few times, but she's not really that important—it's all about the parents and kids here… and one of the kids was genetically engineered. Which is definitely something of the atomic age.

Questions About Family

  1. What do Anna and Campbell have in common when it comes to their relationships with their own parents?
  2. Is Sara a good mother? Is Brian a good father? Why or why not?
  3. What is Julia's family life like? How is it different from that of the other characters in the novel?
  4. Is Anna obligated to help her sister, no matter what, just because of the family ties between them?

Chew on This

You can pick your friends, but you can't pick your family. You've probably heard that before. But Sara does pick her family… at least when it comes to Anna. You'd think that would make Anna feel more wanted, not less.

Every character in the book has some sort of family problems: The Fitzgeralds' problems are endless, Campbell's dad is a piece of work, Julie fights with her sister, and even Judge DeSalvo has lost a daughter.