The Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards

8/10

This was a great book for casual reading, meaning that I could read only a few pages at a time (as I had the time) without either the interest to keep going or the desire to put it down permanently.

The story is a good one; if you’re not familiar I’ll break it down: a young doctor is forced to deliver his own twins in a snowstorm, and when it becomes apparent that one of them has Down’s syndrome he hands her over to the nurse and informs his wife that the baby has died. Rather than taking the infant to the care facility she’s directed to, the nurse instead adopts the baby as her own. The rest of the book then deals with the consequences of these actions over the next several decades.

The characters are complex but for the most part well-written, and since the twins are born in the mid-60s there’s an aspect of historical fiction that makes the book more interesting than it would have been otherwise. The story makes several time jumps throughout the books, which makes what would be otherwise be boring exposition feel instead like you’re catching up with the characters as they develop. On the other hand, I felt in several sections that some of the plot could have been cut out to make a clearer narrative and a quicker read.

I won’t give away how or why, but the title plays into the story in an interesting way, which was a nice detail. Overall, the book was thought-provoking, well-written, and enjoyable, even if it was slow in a few places.

AND WHAT ABOUT THE MOVIE? There was a Lifetime movie that premiered in 2008, and although I haven’t seen it myself, it looks like it does the book justice based on the trailer (linked below). If you’ve seen it yourself, let me know in the comments what you thought!

 

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