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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A totally encompassing read
After reading the first few chapters of this book, I was tempted to put it down and not finish it, as it was somewhat depressing for me and seemed without redeeming factors. In hindsight I was allowing the previous reviewers to influence my opinion;luckily I put that behind me and carried on reading allowing the book to carry me along on its own merits.

Now...
Published on Nov. 28 2006 by A. Houston

versus
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A fine story trapped within ..
This is a book about the flaws of humanity: physical flaws, errors in judgement and the consequences of living with those flaws. It is also a book about some of the triumphs of humanity despite those flaws.

The novel contains some wonderful prose and describes some difficult choices but never really gives me one character whose role is sufficient to carry me...
Published on May 11 2007 by Jennifer Cameron-Smith


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A totally encompassing read, Nov. 28 2006
By 
A. Houston (BC, Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Ce commentaire est de: The Memory Keeper's Daughter (Paperback)
After reading the first few chapters of this book, I was tempted to put it down and not finish it, as it was somewhat depressing for me and seemed without redeeming factors. In hindsight I was allowing the previous reviewers to influence my opinion;luckily I put that behind me and carried on reading allowing the book to carry me along on its own merits.

Now after several hours devoted to just finishing it, I am amazed at the sheer scope of this story, the volume of emotional content the author managed to convey, and the way her writing managed to draw me in; to understand her characters, their weaknesses, their sins and the healing power of forgiveness.

Did I like David or Norah, or even Caroline,Al,Paul and Phoebe? My affection, present or lacking,is irrelevant. What I liked about the book is that it strikes me as similar to my experience with people in my life, there are things about people(including myself) that I like, and things I don't like. Each one of us is human, every one of us has secrets, and we are all vulnerable, usually unbeknownst to those who know us best. What I love is this author's way of putting this story on paper, making these characters real in a way that I'll never forget them.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A fine story trapped within .., May 11 2007
By 
Jennifer Cameron-Smith "Expect the Unexpected" (ACT, Australia) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This is a book about the flaws of humanity: physical flaws, errors in judgement and the consequences of living with those flaws. It is also a book about some of the triumphs of humanity despite those flaws.

The novel contains some wonderful prose and describes some difficult choices but never really gives me one character whose role is sufficient to carry me through the challenges, triumphs and events. Perhaps there are too many secrets, too much drama and not enough trust? I'm not sure.

I am intrigued enough to want to read more by this author. Clearly, this novel has appealed to many.

Jennifer Cameron-Smith
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not worthy of best seller status., July 31 2007
By 
maya j (Quail Crossing) - See all my reviews
Ce commentaire est de: The Memory Keeper's Daughter (Paperback)
I have read many, many books this past year, and unfortunately, 'The Memory Keeper's Daughter' was at the very bottom of the list. It makes me realize that although a book can be at the top of the "best sellers" list for months, it doesn't necessarily mean it's a literary masterpiece, or frankly, even a good work of fiction. The book starts out in a way that you anticipate all good things, but from there it just fizzles. This book is WAY overwritten. There are too many words to tell this story, and all these words do nothing more than become redundant (how many times can you use the phrase "motes of light"?). Even with all these words, the characters are still underdeveloped. You find yourself wondering how nurse Caroline can be so in love with this truck driver she's barely known, and Norah is a bit of a whiner/primadonna but is somehow still so desirable. Dr. Henry seems like such a pathetic man, it amazes that he could even have been a surgeon. I kept wanting more from all these people, and all I got were "motes of light" and weird ramblings about driving along the bridge fast and a woman (Norah) who was technically an alcoholic but not really an alcoholic, because that part never fleshed out either. Basically, it was the same prose over and over, and night after night, I felt I had to force myself to read it, because I am loathe to not finish even the worst of books. I probably could have read the first few chapters and the last few chapters and called it a night. There are way better choices out there for your reading pleasure.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Best seller????? WHY????, Jan. 3 2010
Ce commentaire est de: The Memory Keeper's Daughter (Paperback)
I got this book since it was on a best seller's list, and if this type of book gets on a bets sellers list i no longer will trust best sellers list!!!

the story line sounds great, father giving away a daughter since she has downs to a nurse. It sounds like a great story a great read, something different and interesting.
But the writing is boring, full of irrelevant detail. There are different narrators in every chapter ( which ususally i like) but in this book was not well done.

Unlike a review on the back cover, there is no human connection in the book.
This book is just LACKING in every way..... dont waste your time... believe me you willl be disappointed i was.....
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Waste of Time, April 10 2008
Ce commentaire est de: The Memory Keeper's Daughter (Paperback)
I was very interested in reading this book after I read the back cover. I should of stopped there and put it back on the shelf. It was drawn out and boring and so wordy. Save your money and your time and do not bother to read this book. The best part is the cover.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great story, March 19 2007
Ce commentaire est de: The Memory Keeper's Daughter (Paperback)
You'd think that just about every book on the bestseller list would be a great story with a great beginning, middle, and end. Not always the case. BUT, The Memory Keeper's Daughter IS one such book. I like to compare it to The Glass Castle in this respect, though that is a memoir.

The premise of the story is this: During a snowstorm in Kentucky, a doctor delivers his own twins. One is "normal" and one has Down Syndrome. He lies to his wife, telling her the one with DS has died. I don't want to give too much of the story away, but suffice it to say that things don't go smoothly for the doctor, his wife, the twins, or anyone else, making for one heck of a great story. I was reminded at times of Bark of the Dogwood with its dark moments, or perhaps even The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, though the books have totally different plots. Still, the pacing and writing reminded me of these novels.

Frankly I wasn't able to put this book down. If you want a good story, easy to read, and something you can recommmend to others, this is the book.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Mediocre, May 12 2007
By 
Jayne N (Vancouver, Canada) - See all my reviews
Ce commentaire est de: The Memory Keeper's Daughter (Paperback)
I read this book because I'm the mother of a young boy with Down Syndrome. I thought it read like a mediocre after school special on TV. The author has to really stretch in the beginning to ensure the father's actions are somehow believable and sincere, but quite honestly it comes across as melodramatic and contrived. I know from experience that the initial shock of having a child with Down Syndrome may be challenging, but the father just didn't seem believable. This book is simply not very good and then to annoy me further, the ending was a cop-out. I think the author tried to really develop the character with Down Syndrome, but none of the characters in this book resonated with me, the child included. They were all not quite 3 dimensional. If you are interested in the lives of families with children who have Down Syndrome I recommend an excellent well-written memoir called She's All Eyes by Maura Conlon-McIver.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars meh..., Oct. 2 2009
Ce commentaire est de: The Memory Keeper's Daughter (Paperback)
Although this was a good storyline the book, for me, took forever to read (i couldnt even finish it). It has barely any diologue to keep the book going and to keep the reader interested. It is descriptive to the last miniscule detail and frankly quite boring. The premesis is cool and interesting but I would not recomend reading it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Families have secrets they hide even from themselves...", July 30 2008
By 
I LOVE BOOKS (Italy) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
Ce commentaire est de: The Memory Keeper's Daughter (Paperback)
How appropriate I found this phrase printed on the back cover. As soon as I started the first chapter, my attention was held as if of by a spell, enthralling. Page after page, the story transcendently drowns you into a captivating and emotional whirlwind and there is no going back.

1964. Doctor David Henry and his wife Norah are happily married and expecting their first child. At the clinic after the labour pains begin, it is only after their healthy boy is born that they realise that another baby is on the way. A little girl with Down's syndrome. Norah is drifting in and out of consciousness due to the fatigue of labour and the anaesthetic she has been given. In the split second that follows this second delivery, David decides to secretly give his daughter away, asking nurse Caroline, who assisted on both births, to place the baby in an institution. To Norah, he tells her that their daughter was born dead.

This secret, shattering decision by David, together with the grief brought along by this "death" and despite the joy that their newly born son represents, slowly but irrefutably has consequences that will forever be haunting. It lacerates the family.
Leaving aside the historically-speaking-moment (middle 1960's), when David's despicable decision was taken, somewhat aligned, shall we say, with the ignorance and lack of knowledge about certain issues back then -not a justification, certainly-, something else led him to act as he did, something with deeper roots than one can imagine, buried in his soul.
And what about the little girl? What happens to her? What will Caroline the nurse do?

This is the beginning of the story. Nothing more can be said without spoiling what follows. A gentle yet piercingly moving narrative, together with the need to know, to understand, and reach an epilogue, make this book a page-turner. Flaws and qualities of each character are accurately and distinguishingly described. Some physical, emotional and surroundings-related descriptions could have been shortened a bit, and it is the only reason for my 4 (and ') stars rather than 5. I especially appreciated the way the author, Ms. Edwards, approaches the Down's syndrome subject, never too superficial, sentimental or patronizing and it is unavoidable not to compare this particular side of the book with nowadays, how things have changed for the better. People with disabilities are so much more understood and integrated, it is uplifting.

On the whole, a lovely, lovely book, highly recommendable.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Long and drawn out..., Sept. 29 2007
Ce commentaire est de: The Memory Keeper's Daughter (Paperback)
The characters were underdeveloped and terribly shallow and this novel had too much irrelevant descriptive prose that was no more than filler. I knew nothing about children Down's Syndrome before this book and still don't after reading it... I am quite surprised that anyone would consider this a bestseller because I am completely turned off by this author. Do not buy or waste your time with this one.
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The Memory Keeper's Daughter
The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards (Paperback - May 30 2006)
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