Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Memory Keeper’s Daugher by Kim Edwards

The book begins in 1964 with the birth of twins and the formation of a secret so unbelievable that it haunts all those involved for the rest of their lives. One baby is healthy, while the other is born with Down syndrome. The father asks the nurse to take the baby away to an institution and he tells the mother that her daughter died in childbirth. Instantly in love with the out casted child, the nurse is unable to send her away and decides to go into hiding to raise the baby on her own. The Memory Keeper’s Daughter is the story of how this one fateful night shapes the lives of these two families for the rest of their years.

It seems almost impossible that this could be Kim Edwards’s first novel. It is so beautifully written that the reader genuinely shares the pain and regret of each character in the story. The lives of these two families are seamlessly woven together. At many points in the story I just wasn’t sure who I was rooting for. As is so often true in real life, there is no clear hero in this story, only people that rise on some occasions and fall so far on others. As the story came full circle I began to think there was no way this book could end in a way that gave me closure, but I was pleasantly surprised. Read this book. Then go find someone you have done wrong and tell them you’re sorry, for goodness sake.

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