I have finally finished reading The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards. It's not that it wasn't a good book and couldn't hold my attention, it was life that was going on around me that interfered. But, finally, I finished it a few days ago. It was a story I enjoyed reading. But it was a sad tale!
The story spanned a 25 year period, starting in 1964 with the birth of twins. The wife of a orthopedic surgeon was pregnant. On a snowy, snowy night she went into labor. They drove to the clinic of her husband. Her doctor, the obstetrician, was unable to make it in time due to the snow storm so her husband began to help with the delivery. His nurse, Caroline, was able to be there to assist. (She had secretly been in love with the doctor for sometime, but he didn't know that). After the first baby was born it was discovered that another baby was shortly on the way. Back in those days it wasn't always known that a woman was carrying twins until the second baby surprised them on delivery.
When the baby girl arrived, following the birth of her brother, it was apparent to the doctor she had Down's Syndrome. In the early 1960's babies with Down's Syndrome were not given a lot of hope for long lives or lives free of many medical problems. It is inferred in the story that the doctor had lost his 12 year old sister to death from severe heart problems. One is to wonder if she, too, was a Down's baby. The pivotal moment of the story is when David, (the father) decides not to keep the baby girl. He hands her off to Caroline with instructions to take her to a near-by institution. He then tells his wife the baby died at birth and has already been buried.
But Caroline is unable to leave the baby girl at the institution and she runs away with the baby to raise her as her own. She eventually lets the doctor know she has the baby but refuses to tell him where she lives. And he never sees the baby.
I will not spoil the end of the story but it is very sad. The book is well written with fully developed characters. The main characters are David, the doctor; his wife, Norah; the son, Paul and Caroline, the nurse, with baby girl Phoebe. The book was long. I felt it could have been shorter but the author went into much detail about everything. Many times I felt I were in the same room with these characters, experiencing their emotions.
I give the book a solid **** four points. I hope you will read it, too!