While My Sister Sleeps by Barbara Delinsky
Issue led women's fiction in the bestselling vein of Jodi Picoult.
When a woman in her early thirties, oldest of three siblings and an avid runner, has a heart attack that leaves her brain-dead and on life support her family has to make the painful decision of when to pull the plug.
Her mother Kathryn is devasted. An excellent runner herself she had sacrificed her career to marry and have a family, and lived vicariously through Robin her favourite child. She cannot accept the truth of Robin's condition.
Molly, Robin's little sister has grown up in her shadow. But as the family starts to disintigrate she becomes Robin's voice and in doing so finds her own.
Jonathan, Robin's brother is a scientist. Emotionally disconnected and wedded to the facts, he is the first to call for the machines to be switched off. But his marriage is in crisis, and the issues raised around Robin's life or death may bring the emotional breakthrough he needs to save his relationship.
Robin's father lives for his family, and defers to them rather than voicing his own opinion. More than anyone he stuggles with the definition of `brain-dead' and the religious and moral issues of the right to life.