Beyond the Book: Background information when reading The Memory Keeper's Daughter

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The Memory Keeper's Daughter

by Kim Edwards

The Memory Keeper's Daughter
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  • First Published:
    Jun 2005, 416 pages
    May 2006, 432 pages

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Beyond the 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 appear. 

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 ...

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