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The Memory Keeper's Daughter (2005)

by Kim Edwards

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
17,223478292 (3.45)1 / 441
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 the fateful decision made that long-ago winter night.… (more)
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English (466)  Spanish (3)  Dutch (3)  Portuguese (2)  Italian (1)  All languages (475)
Showing 1-5 of 466 (next | show all)
Doctor father gives away Down?s twin child at birth. Excellent story
  bentstoker | Jan 26, 2024 |
Although none of the characters were particularly likeable, I was interested enough in the story and wanted to find out how it wrapped up. Unfortunately for me, it wrapped up with the father's death. The author hadn't spent enough time developing the mother or brother to that point, so the last part of the book focusing on their journey was frankly dull. I simply didn't care enough about either of their characters to find the remainder of the story very interesting. ( )
  Doodlebug34 | Jan 1, 2024 |
It was a good story but I found it very slow in parts. I wished the author had focused more on certain relationships and less on others. It had the potential for being a much more engaging book than it was. ( )
  MsTera | Oct 10, 2023 |
Another popular book that disappointed me. I couldn't get past the first chapter or so. ( )
  Kim.Sasso | Aug 27, 2023 |
Here's what I wrote in 2008 about this read: "A tad unbelievable and stretched, but an interesting tale of a Down's syndrome twin banished from her family in the early 1960's. Mother mourns the child she believes dead, thens spirals downward and away from her family. Child thrives as early advocates break through to the modern way of nurturing folks with Down's." ( )
  MGADMJK | Jul 26, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 466 (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)

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 the fateful decision made that long-ago winter night.

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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.
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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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