Kim Edwards’s stunning family drama evokes the spirit of Sue Miller and Alice Sebold, articulating every mother’s silent fear: what would happen if you lost your child and she grew up without you? In 1964, when a blizzard forces Dr. David Henry to deliver his own twins, he immediately recognizes that one of them has Down Syndrome and makes a split-second decision that will haunt all their lives forever. He asks his nurse to take the baby away to an institution and to keep her birth a secret. Instead, she disappears into another city to raise the child as her own. Compulsively readable and deeply moving, The Memory Keeper’s Daughter is an astonishing tale of redemptive love. ... Read more
Customer Reviews (1002)
A great exercise in....skimming.
It's always disconcerting to be bored to death by books that are supposed to be amazing.But by the end of Memory Keeper's Daughter, I found myself, again, in that predicament. Bored.To.Death.
I agree with every one star rating.The writing seemed like a paper from a community adult education creative writing course.I skimmed my way through the last 100 pages and I am quite certain I didn't miss a thing, except perhaps a four paragraph description of a scene that was described in 10 paragraphs 20 pages prior.
The characters were unrelatable.And I have enjoyed books with unrelatable characters, but in those books, the writing made up for the lack of depth/relatability of the characters.Nothing saves this book.
Pass on this one.
Couldn't enjoy this one...I felt the author did a good job of writing; however, the end seemed rushed. I turned the page and then one of the main characters dies? The part that should be climatic, was over in two pages....truly? And then all is accepted and well and they supposedly lived happily ever after. Hmmmmmmm.......not one of my favorite reads.
Gave up on page 7, after a ridiculous boy-meets-girl scene that is both hackneyed and implausible.
Generally good but slow in parts
I generally liked the story and thought it was well-written. I found some of it kind of slow in parts, though. I think the son was the weakest character; the nurse the strongest. I did not understand why the wife hung in with her unhappy marriage for so long, though. I would recommend this book with some reservations.
Reader Recommended Review
This is usually not the type of book I read, so I am teetering on whether I really liked this book or not.I love the plot: an act done in secret that affects the lives of so many for so long.Dr. Henry takes it upon himself to do what he thinks is the best at the time.He does not want his wife, Norah to deal with the pressures of life with a child with Down Syndrome.Set in a time where there was really no opportunities for children or people with this disorder, Kim Edwards really captures the confusion of emotions that one must deal with in this situation.
The characters were very well developed.You can almost predict the reactions of each character, feeling as if you know them so well.4 of the 5 characters are affected by this secret and you have the chance to read about each one from their point of view.Dr. Henry, who throws himself into his work and hobby in order to avoid dealing with what he has done.Norah Henry, who thinks her daughter has died at birth, but cannot seem to accept the loss.Paul, the son, who eventually feels the distance between his parents and exudes anger.Caroline, who is forced to keep not only the secret, but Phoebe, the daughter with Down Syndrome very unexpectedly.
The book takes us down the path of how this secret destroys the family values.I was often waiting for something, anything, pleasant to happen, but there just seemed to be so much sadness and anger throughout. As we come to find out, that is the point of the story.A secret can destroy so much.One split second decision by someone can affect so many others.
Kim Edwards is an excellent descriptive writer.She really brings you into the story and delves you into the lives of the characters.She takes you into a world of lies, moral wrongs, psychological suffering, and shows us the ways that some people cope with the hardships of life.
Although I really did like the character development and plot of this book, it was just ok for me.I'm used to books with more action.This one was more like reading about a slow path of destruction of the characters.I guess I wanted more of a happily ever after with it.
... Read more