Wednesday, October 31, 2012
The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards
This stunning novel begins on a winter night in 1964, 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's syndrome. For motives he tells himself are good, he makes a split second decision that will haunt all their lives forever. He asks his nurse, Caroline, to take the baby away to an institution. Instead, she disappears into another city to raise the child as her own.
Compulsively readable and deeply moving, The Memory Keeper's Daughter is a brilliantly crafted story of parallel lives, familial secrets, and the redemptive power of love.
I was on a lookout for this after reading Kim Edwards's The Lake of Dreams last year. I found it at the Books 2nd Time Around sale this year. I knew even before reading that I was going to like it. I was right! :) It is indeed a great book that I would be more than happy to recommend to you. Having said that, I must warn you that it wasn't an easy book to read. It has its moment of lightness as well as its moment of despair.
It is very much a story of a man haunted by his decision. A decision made that cannot be unmade. A decision that in the end drove his family apart and indirectly without them knowing, caused grief that never healed even though he made the decision with the very intention of keeping his family happy. You might said what was Dr David Henry thinking but giving away his daughter? How could he do it? After you read about his past, you might be less judgmental.
The only thing I feel is rather lacking is that there wasn't much focus on Phoebe. Just enough for the readers to know what she was up to but the focus was more on David Henry, the memory keeper himself, with the author trying her best to share with readers why he did what he did and the impact of the action on the man himself.
I am finally among the 6 million readers (p.s. you would know what I mean if you read my review on The Lake of Dreams :).