Memory Keeper’s Daughter

ISBN: 978-0-14-103014-2

Price: 295 INR

The plot is based in the year 1964. The story begins with the winter night when Dr. David Henry has to deliver his own twins. First born is the son who is perfectly a healthy baby.And then the daughter is born.David realizes there is something wrong with his new born daughter-the wrong called ‘Down’s Syndrome’. Within a fraction of second he decides that he is not going to tell his wife,Norah,about their daughter.He asks Caroline,his nurse,to take the baby to an institution. Caroline is reluctant but accepts to do this because of David.However on reaching the institution she is unable to leave the tiny bundle of joy just like that.It becomes difficult for her but finally she decides that she is not leaving the baby anywhere but keeping it with her.She informs David after some days that she has kept the baby with her.

Norah, on realizing that she had given birth to twins but lost her daughter, breaks from inside. Something changes between her and David that day. Norah becomes over protective about their son,Paul. But mothers are mothers and Norah could sense all the time that her daughter is somewhere near her. This thought keeps haunting her but David with all his conviction tells her that their daughter,Phoebe-that they had decided to name her,is no more in this world !

Paul and Phoebe are simultaneously growing up in different parts of the world but aren’t aware of each other’s existence. Phoebe has to fight with circumstances to make space in this world and Paul gets everything easily. David and Caroline are the only one’s knowing this family secret which binds everyone’s lives together.

Norah with every passing day becomes insecure and it affects their married life. As if this trauma was not enough for Norah, David passes away ! What happens to the secret? Will Norah ever know that Phoebe is alive?

The book is not totally about the syndrome but since one of the important characters of the novel suffers from it you will find traces about the syndrome throughout the novel.Kim has finely expressed about how a mother feels and what all she goes through on loosing a child. How a father, who himself decides to abandon his daughter, lives with the guilt and the secret within him. How their lives change from that one day.

Pluses: Gripping tale. You will surely want to know what exactly happens to the family secret.

Minuses: It’ s a lengthy read. At many places you will find that the story has been unnecessarily stretched into several pages.

I bought this book since I hadn’t read Kim Edwards earlier so it was the curiosity. And of course the story line which has been mentioned in excerpt is intriguing. It presents twists and turns of emotions. If at all emotional plots bore you please avoid reading this one. 
Review by Nu who blogs on books at Bond with Books.

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