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On a winter night in , Dr David Henry is forced by a blizzard to deliver his own twins His son, born first, is perfectly healthy Yet when his daughter is born, he sees immediately that she has Down s Syndrome Rationalizing it as a need to protect Norah, his wife, he makes a split second decision that will alter all of their lives forever He asks his nurse to take the baby away to an institution and never to reveal the secret But Caroline, the nurse, cannot leave the infant Instead, she disappears into another city to raise the child herself So begins this story that unfolds over a quarter of a century in which these two families, ignorant of each other, are yet bound by the fateful decision made that long ago winter night Norah Henry, who knows only that her daughter died at birth, remains inconsolable her grief weighs heavily on their marriage And Paul, their son, raises himself as best he can, in a house grown cold with mourning Meanwhile, Phoebe, the lost daughter, grows from a sunny child to a vibrant young woman whose mother loves her as fiercely as if she were her own Wow, I m really torn as to what to say about this book I will start by saying that Kim Edwards is a skilled writer and there s no taking that away from her Her words flow beautifully and that was greatly appreciated by me.I began reading this book and fell in love with it From the beginning, I was very sure that I was going to rate it with five stars I was intrigued by the premise It s 1964 and a doctor s wife gives birth to twins The twins were unexpected no ultrasounds back then and so Wow, I m really torn as to what to say about this book I will start by saying that Kim Edwards is a skilled writer and there s no taking that away from her Her words flow beautifully and that was greatly appreciated by me.I began reading this book and fell in love with it From the beginning, I was very sure that I was going to rate it with five stars I was intrigued by the premise It s 1964 and a doctor s wife gives birth to twins The twins were unexpected no ultrasounds back then and so the second baby, a girl with Down s Syndrome, was a shock In the panic of a moment, the doctor, who had lost his own sister when she was 12 due to a heart problem , panics and gives his newborn daughter, Phoebe, to his nurse, Caroline He wants to spare his wife and himself the pain of having a child with Down Syndrome who might not live long Caroline takes the baby to the home, but when she gets there, she realizes she cannot leave the child in such a wretched place and makes a split second decision to keep her as her own The author skillfully goes back and forth between the doctor s family, David and Norah Henry and their son, Paul and Caroline s life with the girl, Phoebe I was intrigued.Somewhere, around page 175, I started not liking the book so much What had been a taut, interesting story, started taking little side trips that I felt tarnished the characters and didn t stay within what I thought the author had set up But I didn t want to dislike the book for this reason, because I don t expect the author to go where I might go or where I might have liked to see her go Still, the things that were going on kept nagging at me and making me uneasy in a way that I don t think were intended to make me uneasy.I began to care less and less about the characters, but stayed with the book because it was interesting to see where it went and I had already invested so much time in reading it There were too many long descriptions of things that didn t matter to me, and no matter how hard I tried, I didn t get to know the characters in the way I thought I should.I am stuck in the middle In the end, I didn t really care for it all too much, but cannot say that others would not I give the writer kudos for being so skilled with the English language I didn t really care about any of the characters very much in the end, if at all, and I think that s what really soured me on this book This is a hard one for me to judge If you re at all interested, read it for yourself and see what you think This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers To view it, click here Note This review is chock full of spoilers Read at your own risk.Ugh This book was a disappointment I was drawn in by the premise, my mother in law having borne twins where one was neurotypical and the other was not cerebral palsy in our case As I got into the story, though, its shortcomings became painfully apparent The characters were shallow and unlikable In particular I couldn t stand Norah, whose every hackneyed scene from her flirtation with alcoholism to her tawdry affairs to h Note This review is chock full of spoilers Read at your own risk.Ugh This book was a disappointment I was drawn in by the premise, my mother in law having borne twins where one was neurotypical and the other was not cerebral palsy in our case As I got into the story, though, its shortcomings became painfully apparent The characters were shallow and unlikable In particular I couldn t stand Norah, whose every hackneyed scene from her flirtation with alcoholism to her tawdry affairs to her rebirth as a liberated entrepreneur recalled the one Danielle Steele book I read out of desperation during a boring summer at my parents house So many times, the plot seemed to be building up to a climax which inevitably fell flat son Paul s drugged out ransacking of his father s workroom, for example, could ve led to his discovering the file on his sister, but instead was resolved with no revelations, just a lame father son chat and an admonition to clean up the mess what was the point As for David and his photography, the title Memory Keeper would ve beenpoignant if, say, David had kept his photography a private thing, albums filled with desperately orchestrated scenes of happy family moments that never were instead, the author chose another Steele worthy plot of turning him into a detached, semi pro photo artist with some high concept obsession with linking anatomy with nature scenes Whatever The question of how David pulled off his daughter s faked death is also nagging Even if he did sign the death certificate himself, how did he swing the service and burial Should we assume that he simply nipped down to Caskets R Us for a wee box, informed everyone that he stuck her in there, and that no one blinked an eye The closest thing to a sympathetic, realistic character was Caroline, the nurse who raised Phoebe And speaking of Phoebe, the author seemed to care less about transcending Down Syndrome stereotypes and fleshing her out as a fully realized character than for using her as a bland abstraction, a screen against which the other characters project their neuroses and complicated life choices The author is very enad of setting a scene, right down to the dust motes in the air and the color of people s shoes She puts too much effort into description and not enough on weaving a compelling plot Redundancy and trite dialogue are a constant annoyance Oh, and the whole Rosemary plot at the end What David just happens to stumble upon some pregnant homeless chick in his abandoned childhood home who s about Phoebe s age, and after she takes him prisoner and he confesses his precious sins to her, he basically adopts her like a neurotypical stand in for the broken daughter he gave away Was that supposed to be some act of redemption taking in a girl and her baby to atone for the baby he rejected The whole thing reeks of symbolism, but did anyone else just find this twist not only implausible but creepy Feh.I struggled to finish this book, but I wouldn t recommend anyone doing the same to themselves This book was terrible, not because it was bad, but because it was so good I couldn t put it down until I finished the final pages at 3 in the morning Not a good thing, when your alarm goes off at 5 50 AM.What fascinates me about this book is what it has to say about secrets The basic premise a doctor is forced to deliver his wife s child in the middle of a raging snowstorm The only complication is that she s actually carrying twins the first, a healthy beautiful baby boy the second, a This book was terrible, not because it was bad, but because it was so good I couldn t put it down until I finished the final pages at 3 in the morning Not a good thing, when your alarm goes off at 5 50 AM.What fascinates me about this book is what it has to say about secrets The basic premise a doctor is forced to deliver his wife s child in the middle of a raging snowstorm The only complication is that she s actually carrying twins the first, a healthy beautiful baby boy the second, a Downs Syndrome baby girl The year is 1964, when such children are regularly institutionalized after all, babies like this rarely survive long anyway, and even if they do, their quality of life is marginal at best.As a doctor, David Henry knows his daughters prognosis full well, and rather than force his young wife Norah to deal with such a tragedy, he makes a snap decision to try and protect her from a lifetime of unspeakable grief His solution hand the defective daughter to his nurse to deliver to an institution, while he informs his wife of the tragedy she delivered twins, but her daughter did not survive childbirth She is dead Gone.With that simple little secret, the future is inescapably changed, his doom is sealed unbeknownst to anyone, the nurse flees into hiding to raise the child as her own.The rest of the book is riveting, because we get to see firsthand the effects of his fall on his relationship with his wife, his son, and eventually everyone else around him It s a tragic book I m not sure I could read it again , because it s not Hollywood it s brutally true to the lives that many of us have experienced ourselves.The one ray of hope comes unexpectedly, as David Henry confesses everything nosecrets to a young woman with child In the silence David started talking again, trying to explain at first about the snow and the shock and the scalpel flashing in the harsh light How he has stood outside himself and watched himself moving in the world How he had woken up every morning of his life for eithteen years thinking maybe today, maybe this was the day he would put things right But Phoebe was gone and he couldn t find her, so how could he possibly tell Norah The secret had worked its way through their marriage, an insidious vine, twisting she drank too much, and then she began having affairs, that sleazy realtor at the beach, and then the others he s tried not to notice, to forgive her, for he knew that in some real sense the fault was his Photo after photo, as if he could stop time or make an image powerful enough to obscure the moment when he had turned and handed his daughter to Caroline Gill He had handed his daughter to Caroline Gill and that act had led him here, years later, to this girl in motion of her own, this girl who had decided yes, a brief moment of release in the back of a car or in the room of a silent house, this girl who had stood up later, adjusting her clothes, with no knowledge of how that moment was already shaping her life She cut paper and listened Her silence made him free He talked like a river, like a storm, words rushing through the old house with a force and life he could not stop At some point he began to weep again, and he could not stop that either Rosemary made no comment whatsoever He talked until the words slowed, ebbed, finally ceased Silence welled She did not speak All right, she said at last You re free And this single act of honesty produces the deepest intimacy he has ever experienced it s not sexual, but relational with a human being who knows the very worst about him and yet who does not reject him for it You can read the whole review here This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers To view it, click here Will someone please explain to me why, at my age, and I should know better, I m stilled swayed by the words No 1 N.Y Times Bestseller I found this for fifty cents at my library s used book sale last week A warning I clearly ignored But it had a good title, a beautiful, mysterious cover, and lots of people are reading it Lots of people watch Oprah and The View , too About halfway through the first paragraph I realized, too late to get my fifty cents back, that this is CHICK LIT Not Will someone please explain to me why, at my age, and I should know better, I m stilled swayed by the words No 1 N.Y Times Bestseller I found this for fifty cents at my library s used book sale last week A warning I clearly ignored But it had a good title, a beautiful, mysterious cover, and lots of people are reading it Lots of people watch Oprah and The View , too About halfway through the first paragraph I realized, too late to get my fifty cents back, that this is CHICK LIT Not even goofy, over the top fun chick lit, but takes itself waaay too serious chick lit pretending to be literature The subtitle of this preposterous premised book, choked with a mountain of useless detail, should have been My Hidden Breastfeeding Agenda, Brought to You By the La Leche League She goes on, on, on, and on about the milk rising , and other numerous references to the Joy of Breastfeeding At least in the first chapters Then she drops it like a hot potato, busily filling the pages with endless detail about patterns on people s clothing and how the ground looks Instead of working on character development Anyway, the plot is just too much Husband Pretends Handicapped Baby is Born Dead Keeps Big Secret From Wife and Marriage is NEVER THE SAME Well, duh.The main characters, except Caroline, are wholly unlikeable.The writing is beyond tolerable my eyes rolled so often they hurt.Edwards clearly has The Writer s Guide to Trite and The Big Book of Cliches on her reference shelf Ugh Why do rooms always have to be small but immaculate Also, while casuarina trees and bougainvillea exist on Aruba, the trademark tree is the Divi divi, and cacti aretypical than flowers Let me guess, Edwards has never been there, right And note to author You don t know your ass from a hole in the ground about photography Photography is about secrets she writes Whaaaa I thought it was about revelation and discovery Thanks, Kim, I ll bring my diploma from R.I.T to work tomorrow and shred it in the shredder And my friends out there, if you ever hear me coin a phrase like Memory Keeper in reference to me being a photographer, please walk quietly up behind me and smash my skull in with a baseball bat At least that will bepleasurable than reading this book