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.   

3 Responses to “The Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards”

  1. I had many of these same feelings about this book. Ultimately it was a decent read but completely forgettable. I might read another of her books, but I wouldn’t be in a rush to pick something else up (not even sure if she’s written anything since…).

  2. When I read this book, I kept thinking, what a great story line, what great potential characters, but the author just didn’t take the book to the next level. I also tend to struggle when a book is all based on a secret. I’m always saying to the books “just tell, what’s the big deal?” In real life do people really keep such secrets from each other? And how could someone give away thier daughter? Some of the my biggest teachers and most awesome people I’ve ever known had Down’s Syndrome. Thanks for the review!

  3. Hi,

    I thought you might be interested in watching the book to movie debut of “Memory Keeper’s Daughter” this weekend.

    Lifetime’s new movie, “Memory Keeper’s Daughter,” stars Dermot Mulroney (“The Wedding Date”), Gretchen Mol (“3:10 to Yuma”) and two-time Oscar nominee Emily Watson (“Angela’s Ashes”). It premieres Saturday April 12th at 9pm.

    For more information about the movie and cast, plus exclusive interviews and videos, check this out:
    http://www.mylifetime.com/on-tv/movies/memory-keepers-daughter/about.

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