Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards

I was so afraid that this one would turn out like the last two: too profane to listen to. It's not!! It is really very clean and I loved it! It is also very beautifully written and is such a compelling story that it is difficult to pull yourself away from it.

A doctor delivers his own twins during a blizzard in Kentucky. The boy is perfect and healthy, the girl is healthy but not perfect. She has Down's syndrome which in 1964 sadly meant that most likely she would be raised in an institution. The doctor, remembering his own childhood being clouded by his sister's heart condition and death, was afraid that his wife wouldn't handle it well. He felt that it would be better to tell her that the baby died. He handed the baby to his nurse and asked her to take her to an institution. The nurse did as he asked but when she saw the conditions of the institution, she just couldn't leave her there. She took the baby home and raised her.
The doctor keeps the secret from his family, even after he learns that she isn't in an institution and it isn't until she is an adult that they learn that she is still alive.

I think that this would be a great book for book groups to discuss. Discussion questions can be found at

I loved this book! I rated it PG-13 just because of some adult subject matter and for just a little bit of swearing.

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