The Memory Keeper’s Daughter

The Memory Keeper's Daughter


The Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards begins with a snowstorm, and Dr. David Henry delivering his wife’s twins in his small office with only his faithful nurse. The first born is a healthy baby boy, but the next is a daughter with Down syndrome. It is 1964, and the prospect of raising the baby girl is too much for David to handle. So he tells his wife that their daughter has died, and gives her to the nurse to take to a home.

David’s wife, Norah, spends the rest of her life in a depression, trying to cope with the loss of the daughter she never met, and the ever-increasing gap between her and her husband due to his lie. The nurse, instead of sending the girl away, raises her as her own.

The premise of the story is interesting, and some of the characters, such as the nurse, Caroline, and the son, Paul, are fascinating. However, I often felt that the plot-line dragged on and on, for no important reason, and by the end I wanted to scream “Finish This Up Already!”. Also, I wasn’t very sympathetic towards the wife, Norah, for she seemed too melodramatic; the problem I believe lies in the way the author wrote for her. However, perhaps I’m just missing something without a mother-perspective.

Eitherway, it was just an ok read.


This entry was posted in Anderson Book Club, Book Reviews, General Fiction and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The Memory Keeper’s Daughter

  1. meshelbi says:

    Ok I agree with the part about things draging on. But the story does have a good perspective of how hard it is to deal with the loss or death of a child. Even though in this case the child was not dead some parents of children with down syndrome consider it a symbolic death because the child will never have a full and normal life. I thought the portrayal of the struggles tha both side went though was very real. The loss of a child is something that will pull many families apart.

    Agreed not the best book, but it is a quick read!

  2. lisamm says:

    I agree with you. This one didn’t do it for me either. I was very interested in reading it because my family has been touched by Down Syndrome (my mom’s brother), but I just didn’t care about any of the characters.

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