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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
13,519432159 (3.46)1 / 378
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)

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English (423)  Dutch (3)  Portuguese (2)  Spanish (2)  All languages (430)
Showing 1-5 of 423 (next | show all)
I really found it difficult to identify with some of the actions of the main characters in this book- the father and the opening scene in particular really set the tone of the whole novel and it was hard to come back from that. ( )
  lovelypenny | Feb 4, 2016 |
A wonderful impacting and emotional read, at least in my opinion. I normally don't enjoy books that make it high on the bestsellers list because a lot of time it's not my kind of fiction, but what I had heard of the book intrigued me enough to read it.

I read through some of the things that people disliked about it and I found I disagreed with them! I thought it was very well written! I very much like the way that the story was told through all these different points of view, you really got to know and understand the different characters. I was sympathetic towards Norah about losing her daughter, saddened when she felt depressed and happy for her when she found the life that could take her away from her sadness. Although I don't agree with what David did - taking his daughter away and lying about it for so many years - you feel the pain in his heart (from both lying and the events from his childhood) and the chaos that it causes him, torn between the daughter he knows he should have kept and the lie that consumes him and won't let him free. I admire Caroline, the woman who raises Phoebe, for her strength and determination to see through the difficulties of Phoebe's condition. The other characters - like Caroline's husband, Norah's sister, Rosemary - are perfect foils for each of the character's inner person.

Also, I actually liked how Phoebe was this character that you never really got to know except through the eyces of other characters. You never hear how she feels but she is the most important charater in the novel; she shapes and impacts the others around her.

Although, one thing I def. agree with is that I was hoping for a more exciting and impacting ending!! It felt like there was all this pain, misery and hardships through the book for each of the different characters and then the ending didn't have the proper closure for them. ( )
  elle-kay | Jan 27, 2016 |
Could you raise a special needs child? What would you do if your child was born them? David Henry is faced with that decision when his wife goes into labor in the early 60's, a time when raising a child with special needs was not heard of. This is a decision that effects his family for the next 20 years.

This was a decent book. It took me sometime to get into the book but I liked the last half of it. I felt terrible for characters at times, to go through grief that otherwise could have been prevented. One lie led to this. ( )
  alwelker | Jan 25, 2016 |
Could you raise a special needs child? What would you do if your child was born them? David Henry is faced with that decision when his wife goes into labor in the early 60's, a time when raising a child with special needs was not heard of. This is a decision that effects his family for the next 20 years.

This was a decent book. It took me sometime to get into the book but I liked the last half of it. I felt terrible for characters at times, to go through grief that otherwise could have been prevented. One lie led to this. ( )
  alwelker | Jan 25, 2016 |
This was a moving, and often sad, story about how our decisions can have everlasting effects, not only on ourselves, but on the ones we love. In 1964 when Dr David Henry delivers his twins on a cold, snowy night he discovers that one of the babies has Downs Syndrome so he decides, for the sake of his fragile wife, to hide the baby in an institution and tell her that child died at birth. This hasty decision changes their lives forever. The book then follows the lives of the twins and their two families over a 25 year span, but I felt this was too long and many of the years, especially in the middle, were skimmed over. However, the story does show how life moves on and focuses on the issues of grief, regret, secrets and love. ( )
  HeatherLINC | Jan 23, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 423 (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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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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:20 -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 11 descriptions

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