Book Review: The Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards

The Memory Keeper's DaughterGenre: Fiction (contemporary, drama, family)

Synopsis: Families have secrets they hide even from themselves… 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.

Rating: 5/5 stars

Review: Okay, so after reading this book I asked myself how will I rate this and what review I should write. I am speechless, honestly. The book left me and I was like what should I say. I know from the very beginning that the story is sad and tragic because of a secret hidden by the father to his family in many years. There were book bloggers who had reviewed this book and readers who posted their reviews on Goodreads and from there, I had a pretty good idea what to expect from this book. Although some had given negative reviews about the The Memory Keeper’s Daughter, I still wanted to read it.

The words were beautifully written altogether, to form sentences that will move and intrigue the readers. Narrations about the characters and the setting they are in, played in my head as if I’m listening to a music and imagining what the lyrics mean. It was so nice. This book has something that is only with itself, that when I’m reading it I can also feel the emotions that the characters have. The intricate descriptions of each of the characters, what they feel, do and think has shaped the story so well. I can easily understand what’s going on. There are words that I need to look up to in the dictionary to fully understand the meaning of it but mostly of it are easy to comprehend. Overall it was an easy read but also very in-depth. In some parts of the book I got bored especially in the middle part, probably because of the super detailed narrations and I already wanted to know what will happen next. 😉 I’m so curious. Nevertheless, the rest were all a great reading experience. A roller coaster of emotions from the beginning to end.

I enjoyed reading The Memory Keeper’s Daughter because of how it was written, the different emotions it gave me and the story is intriguing and has some surprising twist. It made me fill in the shoes of the characters for awhile and made me think many times. It showed me the bigger picture of how one secret has affected the lives of those who knew and those who didn’t. Not just some petty secrets like one hates or likes someone or a surprise party for a certain person but a huge one. Something that will make those who didn’t know, ask what if and why. The Memory Keeper’s Daughter is a melodramatic, not over-reacting and genuine kind of story. There is a sense of realness in the story about how humans would act when they care so much and is still bothered and has not fully accepted their past experiences. Some of the character’s childhood lives were told in the book, which gives us readers ideas why they became the person they are in the present and helps us see and understand that some of us may also have the same experience as them which also shaped the person we are today. The plot is quite predictable I think, at first when I haven’t read it yet. The father hides the truth from his family about their daughter who has Down’s syndrome and then his family knew about and got mad. Of course, who wouldn’t? What I thought is true but most of the time after reading a chapter or two, I have no clue what is next. This is also one of the reasons why I liked reading it. It is unpredictable and it makes me look forward to the next pages and chapters. In the later part, the story becomes more intense. Feelings of sadness, hatred, guilt, regrets and doubt rule the lives of everyone involved in the story. They also feel happiness and love but most part of their lives they lived in the shadow of their past, the truth that they hide and is hidden from them. After reading I have some questions like, ‘Can really a human being keep this type of secret for such a long period of time?’ and ‘How the people who just knew the secret later on in their lives cope in real-life situation?’ I also realized that every decisions we make no matter how big or small can affect everyone around us and when making decisions in life we must always look into the bigger picture to see what consequences and benefits it will give us.

Jodi Picoult is right when she said that this book is ‘Simply beautiful.’ If anyone of you has this book sitting in your bookshelf or you saw it in a bookstore but is thinking twice if you’ll buy it or not, I suggest you grab it guys and read it. Give it a chance and be drawn into the astonishing lives of Dr. David Henry, Norah, Paul, Phoebe, Caroline Gill and many more. The last part of the book is a conversation with the author, Kim Edwards. She was asked questions about where she got the idea to write this novel, her feelings about her work and her upcoming book after this one which for me is a great tool to understand more about how the novel was written. The story is divided in chapters using dates which spans from March 1964 to September 1, 1989 but some years were skipped. I think every reader should try to read this book even at least once in their lifetime. It is such a good read. 🙂

Publisher: Penguin Books
Published: April 26, 2007 (fist published 2005)
ISBN: 978-0-141-03014-2
Pages: 432
Format: Paperback

Source: Bought it on Booksale.

Read more on: Goodreads

*Synopsis and image from Goodreads..

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