Thursday, September 23, 2010
The Match: Savior Siblings
The Match, by Beth Whitehouse, tells an extraordinary story extremely well. The author skillfully explains the scientific, emotional and the ethical decisions faced by the Trebing family when their daughter Katie, diagnosed with a rare blood disease, requires a bone marrow transplant from the brother conceived intentionally as a genetic match.
I began this story filled with preconceptions and concerns about the ethics of savior sibling conception, having read a related fictional account in My Sister’s Keeper, by Jodi Picoult. I very quickly realized how little I actually knew about this complicated issue. My greatest surprises in reading The Match were how quickly I was able to empathize with the wrenching decisions this family had to make at every step in their journey, and how ably the author helped me to grasp the complex and astonishing science behind their story. As a mother fortunate to never have to make these kinds of decisions, I was moved to tears more times than I can remember. As a reader, I was immediately immersed in the story and felt very connected to the many wonderful people involved. As a science geek, I was astonished at the advances in genetic testing and medicine that drive the events in this story.
Simply, this is one of the best non fiction books I have read in years. Beth Whitehouse is an amazing writer who strikes a fine balance between telling a very good story and educating the reader with the scientific facts and details. I am grateful to the Librarything Early Reviewer Program and Beacon Press for this very moving book.
The Trebing family is an inspiration, and Katie and Christopher are heroes. I wish them all the best, and am very grateful and humbled to know their story.