Book Review: The Memory Keeper’s Daughter

Author: Kim Edwards

The book is a masterpiece crafted with beautifully woven words engulfed with emotions that take you across a myriad spectrum. It talks about how a tiny secret in the family snowballs into something greater than ever anticipated.

Dr. David Henry delivers his twins, a baby boy, and a girl on a stormy snowy night. Everything is fine except that the girl has Down’s Syndrome. Dr. Henry is filled with despair. He had been through the avalanche of emotions when he had lost his little sister years ago. Her heart disease had plunged the family into perennial darkness that worsened with her premature death. He doesn’t want his wife to go through the same and gives away the girl to his trusted Nurse Carolline to hand her over to an institution.

The Nurse however is unable to go through it when she sees the apathy in that institution. She brings the baby back home but meanwhile Mrs. Henry who is told her daughter died at birth holds a funeral for the girl who never lived. Carolline decides to keep the baby and Dr. Henry knows about it.

The book travels a span of twenty-five years with two parallel tracks, one of the son Paul and other the daughter Phoebe. It speaks about the disintegration of Dr. Henry’s interpersonal relationships because of this huge secret and his wife’s post-partum depression which spirals out of control. Their relationship hangs by a fragile thread as they co-parent their son.

Carolline struggles with the girl and gradually gets her integrated into society. Eventually Dr. Henry passes away. Carolline decides to take up the onus and reveals it all to Mrs. Henry and the reunion takes place.

The Author has brilliantly crafted the plot with vivid descriptions that take you along with the characters on a heart-warming sojourn. THe book has been developed into a motion picture as well.

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