In 1964, when a blizzard forces Dr. David Henry to deliver his own twins, he immediately recognizes that one of them has Down Syndrome and makes a split-second decision that will haunt all their lives forever. He asks his nurse to take the baby away to an institution and to keep her birth a secret. Instead, she disappears into another city to raise the child as her own. Deeply moving, The Memory Keeper's Daughter is an astonishing tale of redemptive love.
©2005 Kim Edwards; (P)2006 HarperCollins Publishers
"Edwards tells a moving story." (Booklist)
"Edwards is a born novelist....Rich with psychological detail and the nuances of human connection." (Chicago Tribune)
"Anyone would be struck by the extraordinary power and sympathy of The Memory Keeper's Daughter." (The Washington Post)
I focus on fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, science, history, politics and read a lot. I try to review everything I read.
This novel has a good concept, a good beginning, and a good ending, and that was almost enough. The first half was good, tight, and interesting. Then it got bogged down with fill material until the last two chapters. It would have been a better (and shorter) novel without the mostly meaningless fill of events and characters that did not really matter. On the plus side, the story is worthy of Greek tragedy and the ending was subtle yet powerful. At a few points the writing is brilliant. Non sequiturs and mistakes in details really bug me, better editing would have helped in this department. Nevertheless I would, with reservations, recommend this book – it did end up being worth the listen.
The book is repetitive, plays on one's heartstrings. I found the plot implausible. Each character sounds the same, "Oh, it's so beautiful" is a repeated phrase and "beautiful" is the author's favorite word. I found it boring, although I couldn't stop listening to it because I wanted to find out how it ended.
That is what I'm thinking, though I still have two hours left of the recording. This is not a bad story - it just tends to go on and on and on with details that don't add anything to the characters or to the story.
The narrator is not one of the best that you'll ever listen to. There seems to be "chic-lit" style of narrator for these types of books and they have a tendency to make each sentence sound like a question. It can be a bit annoying at times.
Everyone I knew who read this book loved it. I can't say I hated it, but it is definitely one I could have survuved without. Each of the members of this primary family (husband, wife, son) are terribly unhappy and unconnected. Even the secondary family (nurse who stole the baby, the man she ultimately marries, and the baby grown up) seems a bit disconnected but they are better than the other.
The detail brought forth in each of their lives adds nothing to sum it up in the end. In real life it happens that way a lot, as we don't understand the big picture of our lives. But in fiction, I hope to see a little more relevance brought in.
The narrator did well. As someone else mentioned, this would have been better in short snippets in a women's magazine serial. Together, it was long, drawn out and almost boring.
I had read the reviews of this book and would not have gotten it except for the fact that my book club is reading it. That is the only thing that got me through it. What tripe! I didn't like any of the characters or identify with them; they were unbelievable to me. Someone compared it The Secret Life of Bees which was an excellent book, unlike this ridiculous "women's magazine" short story turned into a novel. Spend your credit elsewhere. No stars if that were possible.
I joined audible when I first discovered in in 2006. I listen while: working out, knitting, cleaning, driving... Multitasking=win!
I finished this audiobook. Kept hoping something would happen. Nothing ever did. Very long. Try the abridged version.
I'm a SAHM with a passion for books. But raising 4 kids leaves me with little time to read. Enter audible and I am a happy camper!
I had heard good things about this book and was disappointed. The main characters are not likeable; they are self absorbed and don't relate well to each other....hard to believe they truly loved each other at the beginning of the book. The nurse character is more interesting but takes a back seat to the doctor and his wife.
This was my first fiction download and must say that I am throughly dissapointed. I only purchased this book because it was listed as the best seller in the New Times Book list for 32 weeks. The story is long and boring with no clear direction. The dragging length of the drama takes away from the pitiful situation of the twin's medical contidion and makes the reader flip several chapters to want to know "well what really happens in the end."
I did not have the stamina to hear till the end and I feel that even if one reads the one paragraph review, one would get a good idea of the story as there is no content within the pages.
I assure you, you would come out very depressed and frustrated mid-way. So please beware.
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I was hooked by the plot; I thought it would be a great story! But it was sooo teeeedious. Too much thinking and reflecting and pondering and wondering and remembering… not enough HAPPENING.
For example, no one can just walk across a room and open a window. No. First, it’s all about what the room looks like and what kind of sentiment it evokes. Then, the person has to describe their current mood and how the room makes them feel. Walking across the room, it’s all about the memories of walking across familiar rooms in the past. Once at the window, it’s all about how the window pane feels - how it’s hard, solid, how the glass is foggy, like milky water. Then while opening the window, explaining how the frame is hard to move because it’s been painted shut… seg-way into the colour of the paint - how looks like the colour of mushrooms, then throw in some more recollections of other mushroomy painted crap. Finally the window is open… time for a description the breeze outside and how the breeze makes us feel and how we are reminded of similar breezes in childhood …… get my point? IT'S ENDLESS!
I only started noticing this about half way through… and once I was conscious of it the book was lost to me. It just became all about finishing it not to waste my money.
Good concept, but really, how often do I need to hear about how "distant" the characters feel from each other? I kept waiting for the characters to grow and evolve, or SOMETHING to happen, but it really never did.
It was a good concept though. I wish the execution had been better.
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