Dr.David Henry's wife Norah gives birth to twins. One, a healthy baby boy and the other, a daughter with Down's syndrome. David gives the daughter to a nurse Caroline and asks her to leave the child in an institution, in a bid to save his wife from grief that he went through when his sister died young. However, Caroline leaves the city to raise the daughter as her own.
The summary might make this book sound like a masterpiece, analyzing intricate human emotions and delving into the life of the two children, separated by fate yet joined by blood. Also, there are recommendations from famous authors: Jodi Picoult calls the book 'beautiful', while Sue Monk Kidd calls it 'absolutely mesmerizing'.
You are forgiven for picking this book. But you are most likely to suffer for that choice.
Here are some reasons why:
1. The writing is beautiful, yes. But how can you endure wonderful writing when there is no plot to read about!? Yes.. there is no plot of significance. Kim Edwards chronicles the lives of two families, ad nauseum. Tedious to read through a book that seems aimless, if you exclude its intent to waste your time.
2. It is understood that you want to embellish your characters. But telling us constantly about mindless drinking habits, senseless affairs and emotional worries that have not much of a consequence in the end is just a bit too much. Especially when the main characters evoke little or no sympathy.
3. Justifying a word in the book title so many times throughout the book is unnecessary! The Memory Keeper refers to a camera, a camera helps to preserve memories, camera comes from a word that means 'secret', this book is about keeping secrets. Really? I got it the first time you explained.
4. Speaking of the book title, why is there SO little in the book about 'The Memory Keeper's Daughter'?? Why is she like a footnote added hastily?
5. And just when I thought things couldn't get worse arrives deus ex machina that is so unbelievably crazy! Rosemary and her baby? Seriously. A random pregnant girl is whom you confess your 'biggest secret' to? And because you willingly confessed, you bring a pregnant girl home to live with your wife and son? And she becomes an integral part of your life? And her son becomes your darling?
Enough said, really.
If there is any positive in this book, it is Kim Edwards' smooth way with words. I wish though, that she had an actual plot to work on.