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  • Writer's pictureLilac Mills

The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards


Families have secrets they hide even from themselves...

It should have been an ordinary birth, the start of an ordinary happy family. But the night Dr David Henry delivers his wife's twins is a night that will haunt five lives for ever.

For though David's son is a healthy boy, his daughter has Down's syndrome. And, in a shocking act of betrayal whose consequences only time will reveal, he tells his wife their daughter died while secretly entrusting her care to a nurse.

As grief quietly tears apart David's family, so a little girl must make her own way in the world as best she can.


I'm not quite sure what to make of this book - on the the one hand it was a little too slow for my liking and a little repetitive in places, but on the other I was compelled to read to the end. Speaking of the end, it could have gone one of two ways, and I suspect the way the author didn't take it would have made for a more interesting, if less acceptable, ending.

The story is told from multiple points of view, but there is a structure to it, and it made for a richer picture. The message I brought away with me is a slightly grim one, and not what I imagine the author wanted - David tries to prevent his wife and son from experiencing the same heartache that his mother and he went through because of his sister, only for the heartache to appear anyway, but in a different form, and the lives of his family are severely affected regardless. The road to hell is paved with good intentions in this novel, and hindsight is a wonderful thing, it seems. Sounds like life in general!

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