The Memory Keeper’s Daughter- Kim Edwards

Cover of "The Memory Keeper's Daughter: A...

Cover of The Memory Keeper's Daughter: A Novel

This review was written 11/07/10

Synopsis(from Shelfari)

Kim Edwards’s stunning family drama evokes the spirit of Sue Miller and Alice Sebold, articulating every mother’s silent fear: what would happen if you lost your child and she grew up without you? In 1964, when a blizzard forces Dr. David Henry to deliver his own twins, he immediately recognizes that one of them has Down Syndrome and makes a split-second decision that will haunt all their lives forever. He asks his nurse to take the baby away to an institution and to keep her birth a secret. Instead, she disappears into another city to raise the child as her own. Compulsively readable and deeply moving, The Memory Keeper’s Daughter is an astonishing tale of redemptive love.


hmm where to start? I did like this book but maybe not as much as I was expecting after I’ve heard many good things about it. It took me a while to get into although it did get my emotions going fairly quickly. I didn’t feel particully attached to any of the characters for a long time, and even by the end I was only really bothered about Phobe.

At first I was only really interested in the Phobe storyline and found myself wanting those times to come around while I was reading the sections with her biological family. Part of this I think was because while I sympathised with Phobe I hated David. I could kind of see why he did what he did, I was mad that he did it. Most of all I was mad that he didn’t even give his wife (Norah) a chance to be involved in what would happen to Phobe. (highlight for small spoiler)And that was before he told Norah that Phobe was dead, I know he was scared, I know he thought he was doing what was for the best, but I hate that he made the presumption that only he could know what should be good. I hate the position he put Caroline in, making her lie to Norah, taking advantage of her love for him.I can understand but I can’t sympathise.

The story also wasn’t what I expected. The blurb was kind of misleading. I more expected it to be about bringing up a child who wasn’t your own and who had Down’s Syndrome. Or at least about discovering a child you didn’t know existed and how that effected you. In reality it was barely about Down’s Syndrome at all but about secrets and what they do to those involved in them. I would have actually liked it more if it was more about Down’s Syndrome I think, though even when I thought it was about that I was unsure.



Filed under Contempory, Fiction review

10 responses to “The Memory Keeper’s Daughter- Kim Edwards

  1. I have read this book some time ago and watched the show. Really mad at him for what he did. Pity his wife.


  2. lucybirdbooks

    I didn’t know there was a show. I’ll have to look into it


  3. This was sitting on my TBR list & you’re only the 2nd blog I’ve read who’s reviewed it. I’m more intrigued by it now that I know more about it 🙂 That’s interesting that it’s more about secrets than raising a child with Down’s Syndrome who is not biologically yours. Hmm…still sounds interesting to me.


  4. lucybirdbooks

    Really? I thought it was more popular than that! It’s worth the read either way


  5. Well, I really liked this book. Maybe because I didn’t have any preconceived ideas about what it was all about. It was sad, yes, but a very good plot and well written. I also enjoyed the movie. It was one movie that followed the plot and did not disappoint. Please, give it a try.


  6. lucybirdbooks

    I did enjoy it. I’ve added the film to my LoveFilm list. Thanks 🙂


  7. I read this book a while ago and I really did not enjoy it so I gave it away at a Flea Market. Since then I have seen the movie which I thought was quite good. Way better than the novel.


  8. lucybirdbooks

    It’s a shame you didn’t like it Gina, but I’m glad to hear you liked the film. That ives me some hopes for it 🙂


  9. Pingback: Saturday Review of Books: December 4, 2010 | Semicolon

  10. Pingback: Literary Giveaway Blog Hop: The Memory Keeper’s Daughter | Lucybird's Book Blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s