#TBT Review: The Memory Keeper’s Daughter

Book Title: The Memory Keeper’s Daughter

Author: Kim Edwards

Genre: Literary fiction, Contemplative fiction

Published Date: May 30, 2006

Rating: 4 stars

This #TBT review was originally posted on January 22, 2008 and was read for a number of reading challenges: TBR, A to Z Authors (E), and 101 Books in 1,001 Days.

When I first started to read “The Memory Keeper’s Daughter” I couldn’t help but have a flashback to when I first read Chris Bohjalian’s “Midwives” many moons ago. A birth during a snowstorm conjures up all kinds of images alongside the obvious stress of delivering a baby. And in the case of this book, add to the mix an orthopaedic surgeon having to deliver his baby or so he thought.

In 1964, where this story begins, a family with a Down’s Syndrome child rarely took care of the child. Instead, the child was usually placed in a home. With that precedent in his mind, Dr. David Henry truly believed that having the nurse who helped deliver his Down’s daughter, Phoebe, (and his healthy son, Paul) should bring the girl to a home would be best for the whole family.

The reader knows from the beginning that this fateful decision will impact everyone’s lives in ways, often times dramatic, that was never foreseen.

Throughout the book, you are along for the journey and always wondering will the secret be revealed: ‘When,’ ‘How,’ and ‘What’ will the reaction from all be. Edwards does not disappoint. A college professor once said that the hallmark of a great writer is one who creates characters who elicit strong reactions (positive and negative) from the reader. This author definitely created strong characters in “The Memory Keeper’s Daughter.”

Goodness, if I had a dollar for every instance when I wanted to shake sense into David, his wife Norah, nurse Caroline, and son, Paul, I’d be able to retire.

I really enjoy thought-provoking books that make you ponder ethical issues. I’m definitely glad that I can cross this book off my TBR list…just wish I hadn’t waited so long.

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