Book Review: The Memory Keeper's Daughter

Title: The Memory Keeper’s Daughter
Author: Kim Edwards
Type: Fiction

This is a 400 page book and fairly long for my reading standards. So I had my doubts about completing it right when I started reading the book. But I survived and hence this review!

The story extends over a 25-year period starting in the mid-sixties. Pregnant wife has twins. The second child is born is born with down syndrome. Husband is the Doc who delivers the baby. He gives the baby away because of his traumatic experience with his own sister, who also had the down syndrome. He tells his wife that the baby died. The wife never gets to see the supposedly dead baby! This is a weak point in the story. One could argue that the rest makes no sense because of this or just let it be and give the rest of the book a chance. I chose the later and found it to be more than worth my while.

A very touching story. The author does a phenomenal job of capturing the story from the perspective of different characters involved. In other words, its not a story told from one character’s perspective. The Doc who lives with the secret, the wife who lives through the pain of losing her child, the woman who brings up the child, each of these characters are explored in great depth and story told at various stages from the perspective of each of these characters.

The writing does tend to get overly descriptive. In the early part of the book I found this to be a bit of a drag but as I progressed through the story, I actually enjoyed the detailed descriptions particularly the parts where the story is very moving and emotional. If the author had been more focused on just the story and gone a little easy on the somewhat excruciating descriptive details the story could well have been told in half the number of pages. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the book.

If you are the emotional type, this is a must read. If you are the impatient “cut the crap, tell me the story, damn it” type, then this one is definitely not for you. This book is a bestseller, btw.

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