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The Memory Keeper's Daughter

by Kim Edwards

The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards X
The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards
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  • First Published:
    Jun 2005, 416 pages
    Paperback:
    May 2006, 432 pages

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There are currently 36 reader reviews for The Memory Keeper's Daughter
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Sarah

MKD
This book was very captivating although I found some spots to be a little dull.
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 is forced to deliver his twins by himself, with the help of his nurse, Caroline. The Henrys’ first child born is a healthy boy. However, his twin is a girl born with Down syndrome.

Norah is unconscious during the birth of her girl, which causes David to make a split-second decision to send his daughter to an institution. He asks Caroline to take the girl there; she reluctantly agrees. However, she decides she can’t go through with the process and decides to raise the girl as her own in another city.

Here is a section from the book that describes David’s emotions a year after his twins were born:
“David felt a sense of panic, almost vertigo, at all he didn’t know; at all he knew and couldn’t mend. And anger: he felt that too, suddenly, in a great rush. At himself, but also at Caroline, who had not done what he’d asked, who had made an impossible situation even worse” (122).

The overall plot and the dialogue of the book were very strong. I liked how the narration was portrayed from three different people throughout the novel. However, what I felt was weak was the ability to keep the reader’s attention the whole time. I started out really enjoying the novel, but as it progressed, I found it harder and harder to tune in. The plot seemed to plummet towards the end.

Personally, I really enjoyed the first half of the book because I didn’t know what was going to happen and I kept hoping things would work out. As the plot progressed, that hope was dashed and I became very disappointed in the characters and soon lost interest. Overall, it was an interesting novel, but I wouldn’t highly recommend it.
ann

The Memory Keeper's Daughter
What I thought was going to be a wonderful book
turned out to just "so-so". The title and the
premise of the book roped me in, but midway I
was beginning to lose interest. I had to make
myself finish it and all the while I was hoping it
would gather momentum again but of course,it
never did.

She's way too wordy and I got so sick of her whining
over her lost daughter. Enough already, we got the point!!!
Katarina

The memory keepers daughter
I really thought this book was going to be a good one not that it isn't, but it took me a real long time to read it. The whole process of the chapters and how they were set up was one of the things I didn't like about this book. I feel as if the author did not provide enough interesting parts in this book as i would have expected she would. It was too long of a read to get to the next interesting part of the novel. The whole time I felt like I was reading way to slow and couldn't help but to read slow. The novel isn't bad but something about it lags.
Lyn

Remarkably Pedestrian
The popularity of book and reading groups has given rise to a new "literary" genre: I call it "Book Club". Far too many new novels seem to be pedantically written, in order that they may be discussed by groups. This book is one of those.

The topic, which is actually very compelling, should have been the framework for an interesting book, but the characters were shallow, and the resolution sketchy. The setting (early 1960s) is not explored. Caroline is sketched as heroic, yet she essentially stole another woman's child. David was a man who's character was not strong enough to accept a disabled child, yet was also not strong enough to live with his choice.

No one ever "came to grips" with what was done. Each character seemed only an individual, not a part of the larger family group. But, it never felt like that was what the author intended. If it had been, it might have been an accurate representation of what life was for those people - how the action of the father affected them all. But the author never seemed to choose: Were the characters all individuals because of the father's choice, or were they a family unit, dysfunctional because of the father's choice?

The book might deserve reading, but I grieve that it isn't all it could have been.
Marion

Too bad
Kim Edwards is obviously an excellent writer, but needs some practice on developing her characters and story line. Or, perhaps, her editor needs some help. This eloquent writing is belabored by tedious characters, endlessly drawn out unnatural moments of reflection, and too many literal reminders and pointers toward the meaning of it all. Give me a break. I had to make myself finish it.
This book is so overdone it misses the mark.
Too bad.
Whitney

not memorable
I had heard such good things about this book and looked forward to reading it. Unfortunately, I was very disappointed with The Memory Keeper's Daughter. The characters were very one dimensional and I found the book very predictable. Overall, this book was just ok, but did not live up to its hype.
mum

The Memory Keeper's Daughter
Just to add Down Syndrome is spelled Down's Syndrome in British English

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