On a winter night in 1964, Dr. David Henry is forced by a blizzard to deliver his own twins. His son, born first, is perfectly healthy. Yet when his daughter is born, he sees immediately that she has Down’s Syndrome. Rationalizing it as a need to protect Norah, his wife, he makes a split-second decision that will alter all of their lives forever. He asks his nurse to take the baby away to an institution and never to reveal the secret. But Caroline, the nurse, cannot leave the infant. Instead, she disappears into another city to raise the child herself.
I don’t really read Adult Fiction, but I had been seeing this advertised all over the place, and the storyline looked pretty good, so I decided to read it! I swapped one of my books for this book on ReaditSwapit, a really good website. (If you’re from the UK, check it out! Back to the review)
The Memory Keepers Daughter had been in my TBR pile for months! I’d read a paragraph and then turn back to shiny, shiny YA books. But finally, I picked it up!
Why didn’t I read it sooner? This book was so beautifully written! David Henry gave his daughter away because she had Downs symdrome, meaning that she may not be adavanced as her twin brother in later life. That is basically the storyline, there is no quest for dragons or a boyfriend stealing best friend…nothing like that. This book was simple, but intricate at the same time.
To a degree, I can understand why David Henry let his daughter go, he didn’t want his wife to become depressed by the illness that their daughter would have. But, it turned out that she was depressed by not having her daughter with her anyway.
I liked how this book went through the years of the two childrens lives, one living with his Mum and Dad, another living with her Mum, (or the woman she see’s as her Mum, it was actually the nurse that helped her ‘real’ Mum give birth to her. Confused? Read the book.)
I thought it was going to be awkward when David Henry thought about telling his wife three years after the birth that her daughter was still alive, but in fact, in didn’t tell her and the years passed by. I can’t tell you if the ‘real’ Mum did find out about her daughter being taken away, you’ll just have to read the book 🙂
This wasn’t one of those books where you can sit on your bathroom floor and sob. Not for me anyway. But you feel the pain, and the loss of the poor Mother who thought that her child had died.
At one point, I did actually find the Mother a bit annoying. She just seemed to cry most of the time and have affairs and generally not try with her marriage. I mean, your son is alive, and he’s twnety now. Focus on him. Don’t just abandon him!
But I’m pretty sure that was intentional.
Overall, a brilliant book that is deffiantly worth a read even if you don’t like Adult Fiction. Or you could read the synopsis. That counts too!
Yay for this being my first review of 2013!
(Five out of Five!)
Author Bio and LINKS:
Kim Edwards grew up in Skaneateles, New York, in the heart of the Finger Lakes region. The oldest of four children, she graduated from Colgate University and the University of Iowa, where she received an MFA in Fiction and an MA in Linguistics. After completing her graduate work, she went with her husband to Asia, where they spent the next five years teaching, first on the rural east coast of Malaysia, then in a small city an hour south of Tokyo, and finally in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
Thanks for reading!