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The Resource The memory keeper's daughter, Kim Edwards

The memory keeper's daughter, Kim Edwards

Label
The memory keeper's daughter
Title
The memory keeper's daughter
Statement of responsibility
Kim Edwards
Title variation
memory keepers daughter
Creator
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Storyline
Tone
Award
British Book Award for Popular Fiction, 2008.
Review
  • David Henry’s life was turning out as he hoped. He was a doctor, married to a beautiful woman, Nora, with a baby on the way. But everything changed overnight because of one fateful decision. On a winter evening in 1961, a blizzard brewing, Nora goes into labor. Due to the weather, they could only make it to the clinic, not the hospital, and only Caroline, the nurse, arrived to help deliver the baby. David delivers his own child, a perfectly healthy son. But when Nora continues her labor, David realizes she is carrying twins; and the second child, a girl, is born with Down syndrome. Wanting to protect his wife from the devastating news, David gives the child to Caroline to take to an institution, asking her never to reveal the secret. Caroline takes the baby and disappears. Unfolding the plot over the course of 25 years, Edwards tells a moving story of two families bound by a secret that both eats away at relationships and eventually helps to create new ones. -- Carolyn Kubisz (BookList, 05-15-2005, p1634)
  • Edwards's assured but schematic debut novel (after her collection, The Secrets of a Fire King) hinges on the birth of fraternal twins, a healthy boy and a girl with Down syndrome, resulting in the father's disavowal of his newborn daughter. A snowstorm immobilizes Lexington, Ky., in 1964, and when young Norah Henry goes into labor, her husband, orthopedic surgeon Dr. David Henry, must deliver their babies himself, aided only by a nurse. Seeing his daughter's handicap, he instructs the nurse, Caroline Gill, to take her to a home and later tells Norah, who was drugged during labor, that their son Paul's twin died at birth. Instead of institutionalizing Phoebe, Caroline absconds with her to Pittsburgh. David's deception becomes the defining moment of the main characters' lives, and Phoebe's absence corrodes her birth family's core over the course of the next 25 years. David's undetected lie warps his marriage; he grapples with guilt; Norah mourns her lost child; and Paul not only deals with his parents' icy relationship but with his own yearnings for his sister as well. Though the impact of Phoebe's loss makes sense, Edwards's redundant handling of the trope robs it of credibility. This neatly structured story is a little too moist with compassion. Agent, Geri Thoma . (July) --Staff (Reviewed May 16, 2005) (Publishers Weekly, vol 252, issue 20, p34)
  • /* Starred Review */ During a blizzard in 1964, Norah Henry gives birth to twins. Owing to the storm, her husband, Dr. David Henry, delivers the babies—one a boy, the other a girl who clearly has Down syndrome. David decides to send the daughter, Phoebe, to an institution, telling his wife the infant died. There is a catch, however: the nurse entrusted with the errand cannot bear to give Phoebe away. Norah pours her soul into raising her son but forever mourns the loss of her daughter; Phoebe, meanwhile, thrives under the loving care of her accidental mother, and the secret of her existence creates an impenetrable wall between David and Norah Henry. First-time novelist Edwards—author of the short story collection The Secrets of a Fire King —has written a heart-wrenching book, by turns light and dark, literary and suspenseful. A natural for book discussion groups; recommended.—Keddy Ann Outlaw, Harris Cty. P.L., Houston --Keddy Ann Outlaw (Reviewed July 15, 2005) (Library Journal, vol 130, issue 12, p66)
  • One well-intentioned lie causes deep fissures in a family.David Henry had a hard childhood in West Virginia. His family was dirt poor and his sister June, always sickly, died of a heart defect at 12. Vowing to do good, David left home to become an orthopedic surgeon in Lexington, Ky. He's 33 when he meets Norah Asher in a department store. The year is 1964, and it's love at first sight. David delivers his and Norah's own twins—a boy (Paul) who's fine, and a girl (Phoebe) who is damaged with Down's syndrome. Hoping to spare her the pain he underwent with his sister, David tells Norah that the girl is stillborn and instructs his nurse, Caroline, to deliver the infant to an institution. Secretly in love with David, Caroline, who is shocked by his subterfuge and shocked again by the grim shelter, decides to move away and raise Phoebe on her own. Over the next 25 years, parallel stories unfold. In Lexington, the loss of the supposedly dead baby corrodes David and Norah's marriage. Neither they nor son Paul can be warmed by life together, each keeping busy with pet projects. In Pittsburgh, meanwhile, Caroline lands on her feet, securing a good job and a good man, and raising Phoebe with a fierce devotion. Unfortunately, after its fast and sure-footed start, the story sags: Edwards insists heavy-handedly on the consequences of David's lie but fails to deliver any true catharsis, and when David does confess, it's not to Norah. Visiting his childhood home, he is surprised by a squatter, a pregnant runaway of 16 who ties him up—and his story tumbles out. It's a bold scene, rekindling the excitement of the start yet remaining a solitary flash in a humdrum progression. When the family finally learns the truth, the impact is minimal.First-novelist Edwards (stories: The Secrets of a Fire King, 1997) excels at celebrating a quiet wholesomeness but stumbles over her storyline. (Kirkus Reviews, April 15, 2005)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
135817
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorDate
1958-
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Edwards, Kim
Index
no index present
Interest level
UG
Literary form
fiction
Reading level
5.8
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
Study program name
Accelerated Reader AR
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Parent and child
  • Separation (Psychology)
  • Custody of children
Label
The memory keeper's daughter, Kim Edwards
Instantiates
Publication
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
512620
Dimensions
24 cm
Extent
x, 401 pages
Isbn
9780670034161
Lccn
2005042257
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9780670034161
  • (OCoLC)58807561
Label
The memory keeper's daughter, Kim Edwards
Publication
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
512620
Dimensions
24 cm
Extent
x, 401 pages
Isbn
9780670034161
Lccn
2005042257
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9780670034161
  • (OCoLC)58807561

Library Locations

    • Ruiz BranchBorrow it
      1600 Grove Blvd., Austin, TX, 78741, US
      30.2298616 -97.7070109
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