The Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards was one of those books that I’ve had on my bookshelf for way too long. I had purposely shied away from reading reviews of this book because I hate to know too much about a book before I read it. The only thing I knew was that I liked the cover and I see this book on display every time I go into Target.
The story begins when Dr. David Henry is forced to deliver his own set of twins. The first baby, a boy, is healthy, but the second baby, a girl, is born with Down’s Syndrome. Confronted with feelings of losing a little sister at an early age, he makes a split second decision to give his little girl away. He tells his nurse, Catherine, to take the baby girl to an institution and then tells his wife, Norah, that the baby died during childbirth. Catherine decides to take the baby to another city and raises her on her own. So I’ve just given you more information about the book than I knew, although this much can be found on the back cover (which by the way, I hardly read back covers).
The story intertwines the lives of these two families as they raise each child separately and how secrets can tear our lives apart. A few of my thoughts: I was dumbfounded by how quickly he could just give away his own child and than take that secret to his grave. I mean, who just hands over their kids after birth? But I suppose there wouldn’t be a story right? I felt sorry for Norah, who continually grieved her dead child and didn’t know she was really alive. I couldn’t understand how Catherine could have raised someone else’s child knowing how much the mother truly sorrowed over her lose. I kept waiting for something really big to happen, which never did. And the story was much too long. Would I recommend it? Yes, I would. It was interesting to take a glimpse into these peoples lives even if I thought they were all a little crazy. I liked analyzing how secrets affect our everyday actions and how they change our very being. This book would make a good book club selection s there would be a lot to discuss.
An interview with Kim Edwards and group discussion guide here.
GIVEAWAY: I’m giving away my used copy of paperback of The Memory Keeper’s Daughter (I’ve since picked up the hardback and I don’t need two). Simply leave me a thoughtful comment and I’ll enter you in the drawing. And don’t worry if you’ve never left a comment before (I’m always worried when I see giveaways and it’s my first time there). I love comments, I crave comments, I’m always checking to see if anybody has commented, and I always respond to comments. Don’t be shy, I’m quite friendly. So if you’re a friend, a neighbor, a blogger, a Cafe Mom-er, or here from a Google keyword search, go ahead and enter if you’d like to win a copy of this book. Enter before Tuesday morning, February 26th.