Book: The Memory Keeper’s Daughter
Author: Kim Edwards
Genre: Fiction > Contemporary > Historical
Date Read: 2/10/22
Challenge: The 52 Book Club
Prompt: # 17 – A book picked based on its spine
A mother, Nora, gives birth during a blizzard in 1964 Kentucky. Her physician husband, Dr. David Henry, delivers twins: a perfect boy, Paul, and a little girl, Phoebe, with down syndrome. Immediately he orders his nurse, Caroline, to send the baby to an institution. His wife was told the baby died at birth and had to be buried straight away. However, Caroline travels to another state and raises Phoebe as her own. The story progresses through the years with trauma, guilt, and difficulty from everyone involved.
I discovered this at a hotel library that specialized in Iowa authors. This otherwise wouldn’t have appealed to me, but after reading the first chapter I was intrigued. How unusual for a book to focus of a character with down syndrome? Amazing. My heart was moved by Caroline’s actions. Likewise, my heart completely broke for Nora mourning a baby she never held. However, as the years went on, the Henry family devolved into unlikable characters. In the end it comes full circle but the choices Nora and David made disappointed me.