{Bookshelf} The Memory Keeper’s Daughter

by Leighann on April 29, 2011

The Memory Keeper’s Daughter

by Kim Edwards (audiobook)

Memory Keepers Daughter BookAbout the Book

“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.”

My Thoughts

I picked up this title as I was browsing the audiobooks at my local library. The story sounded familiar and I couldn’t quite place if I had read it or not. Turns out it was a Lifetime movie. But I decided to listen to it anyway.

During a snowstorm a doctor’s wife goes into labor. Not able to make it to the hospital, he takes her to the clinic where he sees patients at no charge each week. The doctor who is to deliver the baby gets stuck in the snow and he and the nurse Caroline deliver the baby, a healthy boy.

In this time before ultrasounds, little did the couple know that they were having twins. A second child, a girl, is delivered and he sees right away that the baby has the tell-tale signs of Down Syndrome. At that time, many children with this medical condition lived short lives, sometimes due to heart conditions. To protect his wife (and we will learn himself) he makes a quick decision to have Caroline take the baby to an institution.

Caroline cannot hand over the baby and instead takes her away, raising her as her own.

His decision and the lies that followed had implications that would shape each of their futures changing who they are or would be.

The audiobook is performed by Martha Plimpton. I have to say that she was hilarious in the TV series Raising Hope, so it was hard at times not to picture her as that character. But I found her performance to be spectacular!

Purchase The Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards from my affiliate Amazon.

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Links to bookstores are affiliate links and are provided so that you can find the books easily. I personally utilize the public library quite a bit, especially for audiobooks and fiction. I received this title for review consideration. Please read the disclosure statement regarding affiliate links. Book descriptions are taken directly from the book or from online sources.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Steve April 29, 2011 at 12:35 pm

Sounds like fun. As a fellow reader and writer, I’m pulling for you (As a parent of a CWD, though, I wonder perhaps if maybe you haven’t lost your marbles 😉

I’ll refer you to a post I wrote last fall, titled What Would Jimmy Buffett Do (quick recap: Franca’s favorite book ever is Steinbeck’s East of Eden, mine is Cormac McCarthy’s All the Pretty Horses –his prize-winner, The Road, would be my favorite would it not make me appear like such a grouch).

Four others (2 fiction, 2 non-fiction) that I can think of right off hand that I’d also recommend:
Plainsong, by Kent Haruf
The Memory of Running by Ron McLarty
Eaarth by Bill McKibben
Deep Survival by Laurence Gonzales

bonus: Sh*t My Dad Says was hilarious. Definitely add that to list.


2 Leighann April 29, 2011 at 1:38 pm

Ooh, thanks for the recommendations!

Funny you should mention All the Pretty Horses. I grabbed the audiobook off the shelf at the public library this week and just uploaded it to iTunes yesterday.


3 Reyna April 29, 2011 at 1:33 pm

OK…Steve’s rec of “Shit My Dad Says” sounds right up my alley!!!


4 Leighann April 29, 2011 at 1:40 pm

LOL! Has your name written all over it.

I requested Bossypants by Tina Fey from the library. You might like that one too. I’m hearing great reviews.

Not that you are bossy…that totally came out wrong! Because you are funny.


5 HealingWell April 29, 2011 at 3:21 pm

Thanks! I need some new books for my nightstand. These sound perfect. ~ Peter


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