Wednesday, 15 June 2011

The Memory Keepers Daughter - Kim Edwards

I've just finished reading The Memory Keepers Daughter by Kim Edwards, one of many books that I bought second hand at the Oxfam Book shop in Hereford last month.
As soon as I read the description on the back cover I knew I would enjoy this debut novel.
In1964 Dr. David Henry is driving carefully through the deserted streets of Lexington, Kentucky during a fierce winter blizzard, to take his wife, of just one year, to the hospital.
Norah is in labour and about to give birth.
Deciding that they can't get to the hospital in time he takes her to his medical practice instead, where with the help of his nurse Caroline Gill, David delivers their son, Paul.
But, there's another baby.
They were unaware that Norah is carrying twins.
Their daughter Phoebe is delivered safely, however it is immediately apparent that she has Down's Syndrome.
David is a complicated man who grew up dirt poor and had to strive hard to become the successful doctor that he is now, he has kept his past a secret from Norah.
Phoebe's birth brings painful memories crashing back and in an instant David turns to the nurse and gives her his daughter, instructing Caroline to take the baby to an institution many miles away.
Believing that he will be saving Norah from a life of heartbreak and grief he tells his wife that their baby daughter was born dead.
Caroline takes the baby to the institution but once there cannot bring herself to leave her in such a dreadful place. Reflecting on her own life, (unmarried still, at thirty one and half in love with David) she makes her own life changing decision.
Caroline gets back in her car and drives out into the blizzard, determined to raise Phoebe as her own daughter.

The Memory Keepers Daughter is an uncompromising, compelling tale of these two families, living parallel lives, shaped by the secrets and lies that began on a fateful night in 1964.
I'd definitely recommend this book, and as with "Recipe For Life" I'll make the same offer to send it on to the first commenter who would like to read it too.

Linking this review to the What We're Reading Linky Party on the 20th graciously hosted by Ricki Jill @ Art@ Home.


Sandy aka Doris the Great said...

I read this book a few years ago (and also found the book at a thrift store). I really enjoyed it.

Ricki Jill Treleaven said...

I read this for book club, and I loved it. I am so glad you read it, Maggie. :D I thought I was already following this blog. Hmmmmm....oh, well I am following it now!

Thanks so much for linking-up!

Ricki Jill

LindyLouMac in Italy said...

I read this back in 2008 and loved it.