Reader reviews and comments on The Memory Keeper's Daughter, plus links to write your own review.

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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
    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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Power Reviewer Cloggie Downunder (06/18/11)

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, where his nurse, Caroline Gil, assists with the birth. Norah delivers twins, a boy, Paul, and a girl, Phoebe: the boy is perfect, the girl is obviously mongoloid. Convinced that his wife will be unable to cope with their daughter’s disability, he tells Caroline to take Phoebe to a children’s home, and later tells his wife the baby did not survive. Caroline, unable to bring herself to leave Phoebe as instructed, takes her away to another town and decides to bring her up as her own daughter. The events that flow on from that decision made by Dr Henry, and the one by Caroline Gil, show how a person’s life can truly hinge on one moment. This is a truly moving novel, heartbreaking in places, heartwarming in others. A thought-provoking page-turner. An excellent read.
Sarah (11/18/10)

MKD
This book was very captivating although I found some spots to be a little dull.
Kandace (07/19/10)

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.
Catalina (05/10/10)

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.
Kaitlyn (03/14/10)

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 all. I felt like there was a lot of background and personal details that motivated each separate and individual character. Edwards does use a lot of detail describing small, minor things and it can get boring after a while but that does not mean it's not great literature! Almost every book I've had to read in school of high literary merit was written in a similar style, especially older novels. I'd recommend it to anyone. I truly found it well written and interesting to read.
gabby (11/07/09)

great
I think that the memory keepers daughter is an amazing book
Batti (07/18/09)

Captivating
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Reading this book can be a life changing experience for some. Many people live with big secrets. I like the way Kim used adjectives and described the characters and their feelings. I enjoy her writing style. I couldn't put it down. The book jacket is one of the best I have seen!
Jan (02/18/09)

Flat footed
This book has been terribly over rated. The writing is flat footed, for the most part the characters are one dimensional. The father and husband was better written than his wife and son. There was no purpose to include the sister Bree or the pregnant teen Rosemary, they added nothing to the story line.
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