The Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards
I found the story to be intriguing. In 1964, David, a doctor, is forced due to a snowstorm to deliver his baby in the doctor’s office. His son was born perfect but an unexpected daughter was born with Down Syndrome. To save his wife pain, David gives his daughter to the nurse to institutionalize while telling Norah, his wife, that the baby was dead. The nurse, Caroline, doesn’t leave the newborn at the institution but instead flees to another city to raise the girl as her own. The rest of the book is the characters dealing with the impact of that split second decision of a grieving father. The story is beautiful, but the book fell flat with me. The writing was very good. The story was one that the climax happened at the beginning and the rest of the book was the fallout of that one decision. However, I found that there just wasn’t enough emotion. I felt that I, as the reader, should have been more involved in the character’s lives than I was allowed. Thus I felt the character development to be inferior. I felt there were too many secrets between the main characters and the reader. We should have been more aware of David’s obsession with his photographs. We should have been more involved in Caroline and Phoebe’s lives. I really just felt disconnected from the characters. I realize that it may have been Ms. Edwards intention to show the disconnect between all of the characters, but it just didn’t work well for me. The ending was too pretty for me. It just didn’t feel real. I enjoyed reading it, but it didn’t compel to me to dig further. After reading it, I didn’t ponder it at all.