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The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards
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The Memory Keeper's Daughter (original 2005; edition 2007)

by Kim Edwards

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
12,672None186 (3.46)1 / 339
Member:Glorybe1
Title:The Memory Keeper's Daughter
Authors:Kim Edwards
Info:Penguin (2007), Edition: 1st Penguin Edition, Paperback, 432 pages
Collections:Finished, Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:None

Work details

The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards (2005)

2006 (51) 2007 (82) adoption (115) adult (33) American (41) book club (116) contemporary fiction (89) disability (44) down syndrome (475) drama (33) family (296) family relationships (51) family secrets (37) fiction (1,361) grief (66) Kentucky (71) lies (42) literature (45) loss (47) marriage (56) novel (145) own (74) photography (52) read (166) read in 2007 (61) relationships (67) secrets (167) to-read (181) twins (212) unread (61)
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English (399)  Dutch (3)  Portuguese (2)  Spanish (2)  All languages (406)
Showing 1-5 of 399 (next | show all)
The beginning and the ending move quickly, but the middle is a bit slow. Some beautiful passages though! ( )
  KatieCarella | Apr 12, 2014 |
This was a little hard to get into, but I liked it in the end. I guess. :D ( )
  CharityBradford | Apr 1, 2014 |
This was a little hard to get into, but I liked it in the end. I guess. :D ( )
  CharityBradford | Apr 1, 2014 |
The Memory Keeper's Daughter is a brilliantly crafted novel of parallel lives, familial secrets, and the redemptive power of love 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. ( )
  plm1250 | Mar 28, 2014 |
I’ve never read a book like this before… and I’ve read many a book! The book begins with the story of a doctor, who delivers his own twins at night during a snowstorm with the assistance of only one nurse. First came a healthy son. The daughter though, had the obvious signs of having Down’s Syndrome. In the 50s, this was a stigma, and thinking of his mother and his sister, who had died from heart problems at an early age, the doctor makes a quick decision that will affect the rest of his life. Attempting to shield his wife from heartache, he tells the nurse to take the baby away to a home, and tells his wife that the baby was stillborn.

The nurse, however, could not leave the baby at the facility. She decided to run away and raise the baby as her own. So, we have two plot lines — one tells of how that one decision and secret between doctor and wife affect their entire lives/marriage. The other tells of the nurse and the girl. It’s interesting how everything plays out.

This book was not a quick read for me. It wasn’t necessarily difficult, but I didn’t zoom through it either. It took me longer than usual to soak it all in, and the chapters don’t lead into each other so that you must read the next and then the next, etc. However, I did enjoy the book, and thought it was well written. I gave it 4 of 5 stars. ( )
  lauraodom | Feb 17, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 399 (next | show all)
Kim Edwards's debut novel is a winner, and those who read THE MEMORY KEEPER'S DAUGHTER are going to want to read her next one. Highly recommended.
 
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Epigraph
Dedication
For Abigail and Naomi
First words
The snow started to fall several hours before her labor began.
Quotations
They'd live their lives day by day, each one taking them another step away from their lost daughter.
... when he slid his arms around her again, he was thinking, I love you. I love you so much, and I lied to you. And the distance between them, millimeters only, the space of a breath, opened up and deepened, became a cavern at whose edge he stood.
Their lost daughter still hovered between them; their lives had shaped themselves around her absence.
She did not know that her discarded clothes fluttered in a wind that he himself had set in motion so many years ago.
This was the grief he had carried with him, heavy as a stone in his heart. This was the grief he had tried to spare Norah and Paul, only to create so many others.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (3)

Book description
A heart wrenching novel about human choice. Dr. David Henry makes a choice that forever changes lives of his family. Edwards delves into her characters and makes the reader feel as thought they are looking through a window into someone's life.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0143037145, Paperback)

Award-winning writer Kim Edwards's The Memory Keeper's Daughter is a brilliantly crafted family drama that explores every mother's silent fear: what would happen if you lost your child and she grew up without you?

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. 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 David Henry's fateful decision that long-ago winter night.

A rich and deeply moving page-turner, The Memory Keeper's Daughter captures the way life takes unexpected turns and how the mysterious ties that hold a family together help us survive the heartache that occurs when long-buried secrets burst into the open. It is an astonishing tale of redemptive love.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:40:35 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

"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. So begins this 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 long-ago winter night. Norah henry, who knows only that her daughter died at birth, remains inconsolable; her grief weighs heavily on their marriage. And Paul, their son, raises himself as best he can, in a house grown cold with mourning. Meanwhile, Phoebe, the lost daughter, grows from a sunny child to a vibrant young woman whose mother loves her as fiercely as if she were her own." "The Memory Keeper's Daughter articulates a silent fear close to the heart of every mother: What would happen if you lost your child, and she grew up without you?"--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 7 descriptions

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