Book Thoughts by Rachelle
I read The Memory Keeper’s Daughter as a study of Kim Edward’s beautiful metaphors and descriptions. There are several exquisite examples of literary writing. However, the story moved along slowly, very slowly because of all this beautiful writing. It is a tortured story and as such doesn’t necessarily have a happy ending but it is somewhat satisfying. It was interesting to see what happened because of David Henry’s initial lie–how powerful and life-changing one lie can be. It’s also sad to see how that lie ruined the character of Norah for me. I think she made some very strange choices in this story and I never really felt connected to her, but maybe that was the author’s intent. David and Caroline appear as the main characters and you would think that Norah might also be, but she ends up as a secondary character with everything in her life happening to her, she doesn’t really seem to act. I really liked the history of how Down Syndrome was viewed and the amazing strides made by so many crusaders to give these children the rights they deserve. That part of the story was beautifully well done. I think that there is a little something for everyone to be found in this story.
Here’s more about the book:
Kim Edwards’s stunning novel begins on a winter night in 1964 in Lexington, Kentucky, when a blizzard forces Dr. David Henry to deliver his own twins. His son, born first, is perfectly healthy, but the doctor immediately recognizes that his daughter has Down 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, Caroline, to take the baby away to an institution and never to reveal the secret. Instead, she disappears into another city to raise the child herself. So begins this beautifully told story that unfolds over a quarter of a century—in which these two families, ignorant of each other, are yet bound by the fateful decision made that winter night long ago.
A family drama, The Memory Keeper’s Daughter explores every mother’s silent fear: What would happen if you lost your child and she grew up without you? It is also an astonishing tale of love and how the mysterious ties that hold a family together help us survive the heartache that occurs when long-buried secrets are finally uncovered.
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