Saturday, December 5, 2009

The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards




Rating: 3.5/10


Review:
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.

19 comments:

Alison said...

Really interesting review - this is a book I have picked up several times in second-hand bookshops, but something has always made me change my mind about buying it. I do always wonder about how good a book can be if everyone who has read it seems to send it straight to the charity shop. Of course, I shouldn't really comment without having read it myself, but this review has rather confirmed my gut instinct that this book just might not be worth reading.

Kals said...

I definitely wont recommend this book to anybody, so I'd say your gut instinct works perfectly =)

Shona said...

LOL !!Yeah!! U did a splendid job of trashing it :). My thoughts exactly .. Would gladly recommend it to my enemy :)

I am still laughing after reading ur review ..

Veens said...

**..Tedious to read through a book that seems aimless, if you exclude its intent to waste your time...** --cracked me up!
God! I love this review... I was laughing all through the review! Good work with the review, I will never pick it up even if I find it lying unclaimed LOL!

Kals said...

LOL, thank you Veens and Shona! :D

Good to know that reading the book served at least one purpose - that of entertaining someone :)

Alyce said...

This one was not my favorite when I read it either, even though I had heard great things about it from some friends (this was in pre-blogging days though). I enjoyed reading your review (especially since you agreed with what I thought). :)

Kals said...

Thanks =) Yep, my friends recommended this book along with Edwards' Secrets of the Fire King. I'm not going to read it any time soon, LOL :)

Jemima said...

I have a copy of this on my self that I picked up second hand. I am not in a hurry to read it after your review. I like the way you clearly outlined why you didn't like it.

Kals said...

Thank you =) I'm glad you didn't waste your money and buy it first hand!

Veens said...

can u pls mail me!?
givingreadingachance AT gmail.com

Kals said...

Will do =)

Angel Borland said...

I enjoyed this book. But maybe because I am from Lexington, where the book is set. That may have made a difference??

Kals said...

I think that might make a slight difference =)

Birdy said...

Ok... now I am glad I didn't buy this book... When I flipped through the book I found that it may not be 'readable' according to me and I was feeling guilty that I am not giving it a try despite the rave reviews... Thanks for the review!

Kals said...

You're welcome! You're losing nothing by not reading the book =)

Swapna Raghu Sanand said...

This just makes me realize how important it is for writers to develop an interesting plot so that readers actually enjoy every page and chapter.

Kals said...

Exactly!:)

Such excellent writing talent, like Kim Edwards' here, goes for a toss because they fail to recognize the importance of a solid plot.

smw_18 said...

Although you all think its a terrible book, I'd have to disagree. Everyone has their own style of writing. Evey little bit of the story leads up to something that corresponds with the main point. You people just need to think more and really devour the book rather than staying inside the box and not exploring the bigger part. I do agree that the daughter should be mentioned a bit more but never the less its still an amazing book. I've read it four times already!!!

Kals said...

Opinions are meant to differ.

I thought the book was unnecessarily expansive, though Edwards' writing is very good, as I mentioned in the review itself. It just wasn't my kind of book and not may others' either, as people have said.

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails