Dear Mrs. Picoult,
Before I read your book, Mv Sister's Keeper, I was very ignorant. I always used to think about those individuals who were so unfortunate as to be diagnosed with an incurable disease at first with pity and then never really gave them a second thought.
Now that I think back on that, it seems almost heartless; they way I would see someone like Kate and think to myself, thank goodness that isn't me. And then I read your book. When I first started it, I thought that it would just be one of those "survivor stories", telling the tale of this average person who managed to best the disease that had threatened to take their life, but I was mistaken. Once I had found out that Anna, Kate's own sister, had planned to file a lawsuit against her own family, I realized that there is a whole other story behind the disease.
After I had started the book, I came across a woman in the mall who had a colorful scarf wrapped tightly around her head, eating some ice cream with her husband and kids. Realizing that this woman obviously had been through chemotherapy and had no more hair, I looked away quickly and kept on walking, not wanting to look like I was staring. I had been just going by and only caught a glimpse of them, but it had started me thinking of your book. I thought of how those kids in the back of their minds, worrying that their mother could be getting closer to her death every moment. Of the husband that can't contemplate the thought of his wife not existing in this world. I found that these kinds of diseases can tear apart a family with grief and sorrow, but they can also make those families much stronger and closer.
As I read on and learned more and more about the individual struggles of each family member, I felt like I knew them and was experiencing the same things along with them. I realized that I had become desensitized to all of the things that happen when your life is changed so drastically by a disease like that. Once the initiative behind Anna's choice to sue her parents was revealed, I finally understood. When you look at someone who has been inflicted with something so terrible as leukemia, they are not the only ones hurt by it. Their families, their loved ones, their close friends are all shaken by the fact that the person that they love could be taken from them in a matter of moments.
Through your work, I was able to realize that I was a person who would look down on those people from a vantage point of safety and security and think of them as only very unlucky and miserable. Through your work, I can understand them a little bit better.