When I left to go overseas my best friend gave me this book as a going away present. When she handed me the present she said “I cried my eyes out and I hope you do the same”. From the beginning I knew this was going to be a sad story and not once did it disappoint.

This story follows the Fitzgerald family. A family being pulled apart and at the same time desperately trying to hold together. Kate Fitzgerald has been sick almost her entire life fighting a rare form of Leukemia. To help save there daughter the Fitzgerald’s decide to have another child that will be and exact match to Kate and provide vital blood and marrow transfusions. Was Anna brought into the world for this sole purpose, did her parents want another child? This questions are just some that are running through the mind of thirteen year old Anna.

The story told form the point of view of all the characters. Each person brings his or her own agenda and baggage to this story. Your heart goes out to Anna and her family, though I found it really difficult to feel sympathetic for the mother. Throughout the story it felt like she was playing favourites with her children. She was sacrificing the happiness of one to try and do what she thought was best for the other. This being said I don’t have children so maybe I was looking at this wrong or misinterpreted it.

This book brings to the surface some big issues that we rarely think about. Throughout the story I was trying to determine where I stood on these issues and that was really hard because the world is a large grey area. It brings in to question the issue of “designer babies” or “babies for spare parts”. It made me wonder why people decide to have children and how my mum would react to the cards this family has been dealt. I recommend this book to any parent (even if you aren’t, you will still enjoy it), it will pull at your heart strings, you will cry, you will be emotional wiped out and at the same time it will put you back together.

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