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Friday 30 January 2009

Review ~ The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards

Official synopsis:- This stunning novel begins on a winter night in 1964, when a blizzard forces Dr. David Henry to deliver his own twins. His son, born first, is perfectly healthy, but the doctor immediately recognizes that his daughter has Down syndrome. For motives he tells himself are good, he makes a split-second decision that will haunt all their lives forever. He asks his nurse, Caroline, to take the baby away to an institution. Instead, she disappears into another city to raise the child as her own. Compulsively readable and deeply moving, The Memory Keeper's Daughter is a brilliantly crafted story of parallel lives, familial secrets, and the redemptive power of love.

Personal Review:- I love the story line, the whole concept of the consequences of decisions and lies and how it has a "domino" effect. It makes you really think about how a decision that you think is fair and right can change your life forever and not for the better, it makes you think of how precious and sensitive our lives are. The theme of down syndrome is very sad too, it makes you ponder what would you do in such a situation? 

However, despite my love for the story line and it's concept and themes I was quite disappointed with the progress of the novel, I felt it very slow and felt that the ending had really much to be desired. I felt that Edwards didn't tie the loose ends well. For example; the novel was mainly about Dr David Henry's decision, why he made such a choice, what his motives were and how it affected him and in turn affected his entire family in the long run and yet he just dies! After reading the book I was thinking constantly "Why did she end it like that?" "Why did that happen to (character's name)?" Whilst it was a happy enough ending it just wasn't the happy ending that I would have desired, but then each reader have their own theories and thoughts on how one story should begin, progress and end, hence it just didn't appeal to me personally, which doesn't necessarily mean it won't appeal to you. The best way to describe the ending is "rushed" as if she just needed to finish it off due to deadline and hence, wherever the characters were in their lives at that stage got finished off.

Having said that, whilst I won't read it again I'm still pleased to have read it. The concept and themes are wonderful and one of those books that have several "morals" to the story and very thought provoking, I thoroughly enjoyed the story itself and just wished that it was implemented better. The actual writing is good, not literary masterpiece but nonetheless its a light read without the need of too much concentration but not too simplified that you loose interest whilst reading.



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