Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Memory Keeper's Daughter

by: Kim Edwards

I am not sure where I ran across this book. I had thought it was a Christian novel but as I read discovered that it was not.

This book is based on a couple; David and Norah. The books starts out with the birth of their son Paul and an unexpected twin Pheobe. David delivers his son and then his daughter Pheobe but one look at Pheobe and he realizes that she is born with downs syndrome. In 1964 they actually had the mother sleep during delivery so she is unaware of the second birth. David makes a decision and hands his daughter over to Caroline, the nurse who was assisting. He tells Caroline to take Phoebe to an institution for these type of children expecting that her life will be hard and short.

Growing up David had a sister who was very sick and saw what it did to his family when she died. He wanted to spare his wife and son the heart ache of loosing a daughter and sister, like he had. When Norah wakes, David tells her that their baby daughter died in child birth.

Caroline took Phoebe to the institution and saw that it was a horrible place so she made a decision to take her out of town and raise Phoebe herself. Two decisions that would have drastic consequences.

David and Norah grow apart. Norah from the loss of her daughter, is never able to really recover. David with the wall he built from his secret. He turns to photography to capture moments in life but some how always separate from it. Their son Paul grows up feeling the distance between his parents and doesn't feel accepted by his father.

Paul grows into a young man, in love with music. Phoebe who faces challenges actually grows into a young girl. Caroline sends letters along the way to David and in turn David sends money to help raise Phoebe.

I had no idea when I started the book that it is also a movie. I plan to watch it now that I have read the book. I would recommend the book. Though it is not a Christian book the story is compelling. I have to say that I thought the story was sad, it's amazing what one choice can do. David thought he was making a right choice to protect his family and never predicted what other affects that choice would cause. You have to read the book to find out if the secret was ever revealed and what became of Phoebe and Paul!

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