The perils of reading in public


If you decide to read My Sister’s Keeper, by Jodi Picoult, don’t go to a restaurant to sit and read when you are near the end of the book. Unless, that is, you think creating a spectacle of yourself sounds like fun.

I should have known it would be like this. My wise and wonderful friend, Tiny Coconut, when summarizing the books she listened to on tape last year, mentioned that she was sobbing at the end of the book–an ending that completely blindsided her. I have been wondering what that was the whole time I was reading this book, and I got near the end tonight while eating dinner out. My kids are at their dad’s, and it seems less lonely to eat out when they are gone, so I thought I would risk it, although I knew I would get pretty close to the end within an hour or so of reading. Just over an hour after I got to the restaurant, I had to put the book down, because I was starting to cry. I quickly paid the check and left, because while I didn’t want to make a scene in the restaurant, I wanted to find out what happened.

Oh my God, it got worse when I got home. I bawled. I had to put the book down and just sob, because I couldn’t see the pages. I soaked through tissues–three of them. After I was able to pick up the book and read the last few pages, I cried some more. Then I stared off into space, dazed. Heck, I am starting to tear up again now. I may cry myself to sleep tonight.

Sure, this book has its problems (the characterization of the mother was a bit off, for one), but it was well worth the time. The questions that Picoult raises are good ones, and she doesn’t try to make them easy; life is not like that, esecially when dealing with complicated questions like childhood cancer and donations of body parts. The ending may have been a bit manipulative, but it was very well done. I can’t believe I didn’t see that ending coming.

One response »

  1. I know! It’s so rare that I’m so completely WRONG about the ending of a book like that.And I agree with your thoughts entirely. There were definitely heavy-handed parts, and things that didn’t ring true, but none of that stopped the sobbing at the end.

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