The book follows the lives of Dr. David Henry and his wife Norah. It opens in 1964 with David delivering his twins late one night due to a winter storm. Norah is heavily medicated during the procedure, (as was apparently customary at the time) and the couple was not expecting twins. When the second child, a girl, is delivered, David immediately realizes she has Downs Syndrome. Instead of put his wife through the "grief" of raising a disabled child who would likely have medical problems, he sends the child with his nurse to be taken to a mental institution. David tells Norah that she had twins, but the female infant died.
The rest of the book, which follows the family for about 25 years, details how David deals with the decision he made, how Norah deals with the loss of the child she thinks is dead, and what actually happens to the child (Phoebe). David and Norah's marriage is all but destroyed because of the situation, and their son, Paul, has a troubled relationship with his reserved, distant parents.
It's not that I didn't like The Memory Keeper's Daughter, because I sort of did, but there just wasn't much to it. Obviously the ultimate question here is, "When is Norah going to find out the truth?" I feel like at least 200 pages in the middle were useless filler. Get to the point already, Edwards. Kim Edwards isn't a bad author, in the way that, say, Stephanie Meyer is a bad author. She phrases things well, and there's something poetic about her words at times, but she's not very good at carrying plots along.
Also... I didn't actually like a single character in this book. Even the characters with good qualities were annoying in one way or another. David obviously isn't Mr. Terrific, since he gave his daughter away and then told his wife she was dead. Norah is a flightly, dramatic, bitter wench, Paul is an annoying teenager for most of the book, and the people who wind up caring for Phoebe aren't real winners, either. I generally have an issue with reading books that are full of people I don't like, unless I'm not supposed to like them. I get the feeling that I was supposed to like just about everyone in this book, even David, but I totally didn't.
I'm kind of curious to see exactly how atrocious the Lifetime movie is. Maybe I'll do that one of these days. Bottom line: It's an easy book to read, but it won't really keep you captivated... at least not if you're used to reading the kind of books that I read. Even the Twilight books keep me entertained, so it's not even about the quality of the book. It just doesn't carry itself well, period.
Read April 14, 2010 to May 10, 2010
On another note, I am pleased to announce that tomorrow is the final day of my internship. This means I'm going to read... Incessantly... For three months. So get ready.