Award-winning writer Kim Edwards's The Memory Keeper's Daughter is a brilliantly crafted family drama that explores every mother's silent fear: what would happen if you lost your child and she grew up without you?
On a winter night in 1964, Dr. David Henry is forced by a blizzard to deliver his own twins. His son, born first, is perfectly healthy. Yet when his daughter is born, he sees immediately that she has Down's syndrome. Rationalizing it as a need to protect Norah, his wife, he makes a split second decision that will alter all of their lives forever. He asks his nurse to take the baby away to an institution and never to reveal the secret. But Caroline, the nurse, cannot leave the infant. Instead, she disappears into another city to raise the child herself. So begins this beautifully told story that unfolds over a quarter of a century in which these two families, ignorant of each other, are yet bound by David Henry's fateful decision that long-ago winter night.
A rich and deeply moving page-turner, The Memory Keeper's Daughter captures the way life takes unexpected turns and how the mysterious ties that hold a family together help us survive the heartache that occurs when long-buried secrets burst into the open. It is an astonishing tale of redemptive love.
The Washington Post - Ron Charles
Some ominously saccharine moments indicate that Edwards can slip into the treacly trade -- "The love was within her all the time, and its only renewal came from giving it away" -- but these gaffes are relatively infrequent, especially considering the presence of a handicapped character, who would, in less disciplined hands, be used to generate a waterfall of sentimental tears.
First-novelist Edwards (stories: The Secrets of a Fire King, 1997) excels at celebrating a quiet wholesomeness but stumbles over her storyline.
Booklist - Carolyn Kubisz
Unfolding the plot over the course of 25 years, Edwards tells a moving story of two families bound by a secret that both eats away at relationships and eventually helps to create new ones.
This neatly structured story is a little too moist with compassion.
First-time novelist Edwards-author of the short story collection The Secrets of a Fire King - has written a heart - wrenching book, by turns light and dark, literary and suspenseful. A natural for book discussion groups; recommended.
Sue Monk Kidd
I loved this riveting story with its intricate characters and beautiful language.
Unfolds from an absolutely gripping premise, drawing you deeply and irrevocably into the entangled lives of two families and the devastating secret that shaped them both. I loved this riveting story.
Recent Reader Reviews
Rated of 5
by Cloggie Downunder Very moving The Memory Keeper’s Daughter is the first novel by Kim Edwards. The story is set in the 1960s and involves a doctor, David Henry, whose wife, Norah, goes into labour during a snowstorm. Unable to get to the hospital, he takes her to his surgery,... Read More
Rated of 5
by Sarah MKD This book was very captivating although I found some spots to be a little dull.
Rated of 5
by Kandace A book that starts out wondefully and then plummets The book begins with a fairly newlywed couple, Dr. David Henry and his wife Norah. Norah is pregnant and goes into labor on a cold winter night. They rush to David’s clinic, but a blizzard prevents the other doctor from arriving. Therefore, David... Read More
Rated of 5
by Catalina Mesmarizing This book is truly captivating. I loved it and would recomend it to anyone. It shares the fears of all women. This book also encompasses the guilt and other emotions well.
Rated of 5
by Kaitlyn A Good Read I chose to read the book for an assignment in one of my classes and was very pleased with my decision. It's a great book with a lot of dynamics in the theme, plot and characters. I do not think that the characters were flat or undeveloped at... Read More
Rated of 5
by gabby great I think that the memory keepers daughter is an amazing book
At first glance the heartfelt tale told in The Memory Keeper's Daughter
has little in common with the children's book The Sea of Trolls, also
recommended in this issue, but dig a little deeper and a connection does
In The Memory Keeper's Daughter David Henry sends his daughter away, out
of sight, never to be talked of; in the Sea of Trolls Jack must navigate
the terrifying world of trolls, changelings and the like. Many scholars
believe the European legends of changeling children originated as a way of
explaining the birth of children with mental and physical handicaps. In
olden times, rather than be burdened with the responsibility for raising a
handicapped child the parents could conclude that the child was not their
offspring but rather a changeling - some creature birthed by a supernatural
creature such as a troll, fairy or elf, and substituted for their rightful
child, perhaps out of a desire to have a human servant, for the love of the
human child, or simply out of malice. Thus,...
"Rarely has an author succeeded so splendidly at making real the inexplicable event (here a life-threatening childbirth) while also reminding us of the struggle between sisters, the enchantment of love, and the kindness of others. Do not miss this novel!"
The Memory Palace is a breathtaking literary memoir about the complex meaning of love, truth, and the capacity for forgiveness among family.
These are 2 of the 5 readalike suggestions for The Memory Keeper's Daughter. Members have full access to all readalikes. If you are a member, please login. To find out more about membership, click here.
U.S. ebook sales up in 2012, but rate of growth is slowing(May 16 2013) In 2012, trade book sales (i.e. non academic book sales) rose 6.9%, to $15.049 billion, and e-book sales continued to grow, although the rate of growth...