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Publisher's Summary

It should have been an ordinary birth, the start of an ordinary happy family. But the night Dr David Henry delivers his wife's twins is a night that will haunt five lives for ever.

For though David's son is a healthy boy, his daughter has Down's syndrome. And, in a shocking act of betrayal whose consequences only time will reveal, he tells his wife their daughter died while secretly entrusting her care to a nurse. As grief quietly tears apart David's family, so a little girl must make her own way in the world as best she can.

©2005 Kim Edwards (P)2007 WF Howes Ltd

Critic Reviews

A Richard and Judy Book Club selection.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Slow to unfold, but beautifully told

This beautiful book delves into the lives of five characters and how one experience shaped their futures. At times you will be equally engaged and disengaged by each of the characters and this is what gives the book one of it's greatest qualities - the ability to see the characters as real human beings and understand and empathise with their response.

It briefly touches on some of the issues of the times, but does not seek to fully explore these themes, rather focusing on the individual traits, strengths and struggles of the characters.

I would recommend this book to anyone seeking a character driven storyline who doesn't require a perfectly packaged ending.

Slow to unfold at times, but worth the wait.


1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Hayley
  • 04-18-10

Average at best

I wanted to like it, I tried to enjoy it, but I didn't. It had a promising plot, some clever writing and plenty of detail but somehow it failed to engage me. I listened to the audio until the end but I was unable to empathise with the characters... and I have a child with Down syndrome. On that subject the author has tried to present a positive image of disability but failed miserably and the insensitive narration only highlighted this fact. All in all the book is not something I would recommend to others. Conversely a close friend of mine has read it and loved it. She recommended it to me. Horses for courses I guess...

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • venetia
  • 04-28-10

The Memory Keeper's Diary

With no prior expectations of this novel, it was many chapters before I was hooked.
Superficially simplistic, meandering and at times unbearably slow, the analogy of the Doctor as a God with the fallibility of man, able to alleviate the pain of everyone except his nearest and dearest, works well. The rippling effect (over many decades) of a clinical judgment distorted by emotion is skillfully charted by the author.

Devoid of sentimentality, the depiction of the power of human love is masterful. With no personal experience of children affected by Down’s Syndrome, the vulnerability of Phoebe, albeit fictional, invoked thoughts and emotions never previously explored. With no tidy ending, many questions are left unanswered. This permits tendrils of the novel’s exploration of the human mind to linger long after the last word is spoken.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kathleen
  • 04-16-10

THE MEMORY KEEPERS DAUGHTER.

THIS IS THE FIRST TIME I HAVE LISTENED OR READ THIS AUTHER.I REALLY ENJOYED THIS BOOK I CRIED AS THE STORY WAS SO REAL TO ME.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • sarahmoose2000
  • 07-27-09

Sad, but engrossing

A seemingly happy couple have twins, one is born with Downs Syndrome, one healthy. The father, suffering from a childhood marred by the death of a younger sister, believes his wife won't be able to cope with the Downs Syndrome daughter; and gives her to a home whilst informing his wife she died.

We follow the lives of the family members forever scarred by the false belief that their daughter/sibling is dead. The reader is left to fight with conflicting emotions regarding the father's decision and the resulting torments inflicted on all the characters involved.

2 of 8 people found this review helpful