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A #1 New York Times bestseller by Kim Edwards, The Memory Keeper’s Daughter is a brilliantly crafted novel of parallel lives, familial secrets, and the redemptive power of love

Kim Edwards’s stunning novel begins on a winter night in 1964 in Lexington, Kentucky, when a blizzard forces Dr. David Henry to deliver his own twins. His son, born first, is perfectly healthy, but the doctor immediately recognizes that his daughter has Down 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, Caroline, to take the baby away to an institution and never to reveal the secret. 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 winter night long ago.

A family drama, The Memory Keeper’s Daughter explores every mother's silent fear: What would happen if you lost your child and she grew up without you? It is also an astonishing tale of love and how the mysterious ties that hold a family together help us survive the heartache that occurs when long-buried secrets are finally uncovered.
Published: Penguin Group on May 30, 2006
ISBN: 9781101010945
List price: $12.99
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Kentucky, 1960's, David, a bone doctor must deliver his twins in a snow storm in KY. Their son his healthy while their daughter has Downs Syndrone. Due to the Doctors childhood, David makes the decision to give the baby to the nurse to be placed in home. He then lies to his wife stating the baby girl was born dead. The story goes on to show the immediate and tragic impact this one decision has on many lives. While David thought he was saving his wife from a life of pain he has unknowingly created a nightmare in which his family will live for over 3 decades. Carolyn, his nurse can not leave the baby in the horrid mental home as instructed. She makes the decision to leave Ky and keep the baby girl.To keep this review simple, I don't know if you could be expecting twins and that not be known in 1964 but I could go with that. I do buy that a doctor could somehow hide whatever he wanted during that time. It's very believable that David's past haunted him and he just insured his future would too. David's decision at the end of the book was in line as well. I found the plot of one decision slowly causing a slow cancerous rot to eat at their lives was well developed and made for an enjoyable read.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This is a story of families carrying secrets and living with the consequences. The writing is beautifully crafted, the story compelling. You really want to know what happens to these people as the story unfolds over 25 years. It is unusual for me to want to take a sneak look ahead to find out what's going to happen next. Very good also on the unexpected turns that life takes, the main character in the end "troubled by the way he'd managed to miss his own life, absorbed as he'd been by his lenses and his grief."read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
A well written, and rather tragic story about a family whose lives are forever changed by one split-second decision. The book covers great themes: that actions have consequences; that trying to predict the future and prevent a certain fate may be what brings about that fate; that trying to prevent suffering sometimes causes even more suffering. The characters are very human and well realized.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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Reviews

Kentucky, 1960's, David, a bone doctor must deliver his twins in a snow storm in KY. Their son his healthy while their daughter has Downs Syndrone. Due to the Doctors childhood, David makes the decision to give the baby to the nurse to be placed in home. He then lies to his wife stating the baby girl was born dead. The story goes on to show the immediate and tragic impact this one decision has on many lives. While David thought he was saving his wife from a life of pain he has unknowingly created a nightmare in which his family will live for over 3 decades. Carolyn, his nurse can not leave the baby in the horrid mental home as instructed. She makes the decision to leave Ky and keep the baby girl.To keep this review simple, I don't know if you could be expecting twins and that not be known in 1964 but I could go with that. I do buy that a doctor could somehow hide whatever he wanted during that time. It's very believable that David's past haunted him and he just insured his future would too. David's decision at the end of the book was in line as well. I found the plot of one decision slowly causing a slow cancerous rot to eat at their lives was well developed and made for an enjoyable read.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This is a story of families carrying secrets and living with the consequences. The writing is beautifully crafted, the story compelling. You really want to know what happens to these people as the story unfolds over 25 years. It is unusual for me to want to take a sneak look ahead to find out what's going to happen next. Very good also on the unexpected turns that life takes, the main character in the end "troubled by the way he'd managed to miss his own life, absorbed as he'd been by his lenses and his grief."
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
A well written, and rather tragic story about a family whose lives are forever changed by one split-second decision. The book covers great themes: that actions have consequences; that trying to predict the future and prevent a certain fate may be what brings about that fate; that trying to prevent suffering sometimes causes even more suffering. The characters are very human and well realized.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I couldn't get past the fact that the entire plot hinged on the father's being stupid enough to say that the one twin had died rather than that there was only one baby (or not lying at all). The fact that he contrived to be dishonest in just the right way to make a plot for novel made the novel seem just that: contrived.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I read this book for a book discussion group, and the discussion was better than the book. No one in this group particularly liked the book. A good editor would have helped -- there were scenes and characters and long descriptive passages that could and should have been cut out altogether. The best two aspects of the book, I thought, was the hook -- David sending his Downs Syndrome daughter away at birth which just takes your breath away and sets up the rest of the novel; and the character of the nurse, Caroline Gill. I liked Al, too, and they were almost the only truly sympathetic characters in the book. You could play around with the theme of images and memory; but I got so mad at all those characters keeping all those secrets all their lives -- why couldn't those people just talk to each other?!!
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I enjoyed this book. Good, interesting story that feels real. It was very sad, and although it was impossible to have a happy ending, it certainly felt very resolved. I would recommend it if you think the blurb on it sounds interesting.
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