The Memory Keeper's Daughter - Book Review

The Memory Keeper's Daughter
Courtesy Penguin

The Bottom Line

The Memory Keeper's Daughter starts on a snowy night in 1964 when a doctor delivers his own twins and discovers that one of them, the daughter, has been born with Downs Syndrome. In a hasty decision, he gives the daughter to a nurse to take to an institution and tells his wife the baby died. The nurse raises the daughter as her own. The Memory Keeper's Daughter moves through the years, showing how one decision affected every part of two families' lives.

This is a powerful novel.

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  • A gripping story that you won't want to put down
  • Well developed, complex characters
  • The Memory Keeper's Daughter explores love, pain, heartache& redemption through a powerful story


  • I don't have a con


  • The Memory Keeper's Daughter uses the third person to give several characters' perspectives.
  • As the twins grow, the transforming power of grief and love manifests itself in their lives.
  • The Memory Keeper's daughter is sad and redemptive, a story that you will not want to put down.

Guide Review - The Memory Keeper's Daughter - Book Review

The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards is a sad story, but not in the way you might expect when you hear that the novel is about two twins, one of whom is born with Downs Syndrome. In fact, Phoebe, the daughter with the intellectual disability, is a symbol of hope and joy in the midst of a novel where almost all the other characters are struggling not to drown in sorrow, secrets and regret.

Even though The Memory Keeper's Daughter is sad, it is not overly so. Hope, redemption and love move the story along even as sorrow dominates many parts of the characters' lives.

One of the strengths of the novel is the way Edwards creates characters who seem very real. They are characters with good intentions, with selfish desires, with hope and with heartache.

As their lives unfold, you will find yourselves routing for each of them even as they act in ways you wish they wouldn't or hurt other characters who you have come to love.

The Memory Keeper's Daughter kept me up too late at night and caused me to neglect household chores--such was its draw. I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a good read.

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