The Memory Keeper’s Daughter
I’ve never read a book like this before… and I’ve read many a book! The book begins with the story of a doctor, who delivers his own twins at night during a snowstorm with the assistance of only one nurse. First came a healthy son. The daughter though, had the obvious signs of having Down’s Syndrome. In the 50s, this was a stigma, and thinking of his mother and his sister, who had died from heart problems at an early age, the doctor makes a quick decision that will affect the rest of his life. Attempting to shield his wife from heartache, he tells the nurse to take the baby away to a home, and tells his wife that the baby was stillborn.
The nurse, however, could not leave the baby at the facility. She decided to run away and raise the baby as her own. So, we have two plot lines — one tells of how that one decision and secret between doctor and wife affect their entire lives/marriage. The other tells of the nurse and the girl. It’s interesting how everything plays out.
This book was not a quick read for me. It wasn’t necessarily difficult, but I didn’t zoom through it either. It took me longer than usual to soak it all in, and the chapters don’t lead into each other so that you must read the next and then the next, etc. However, I did enjoy the book, and thought it was well written. I gave it 4 of 5 stars on Goodreads.