Saturday, July 28, 2007

The Memory Keeper's Daughter

Well, I'm happy to report that "The Memory Keeper's Daughter" was the best book I have read in the last two months. Of course, that's kind of false praise because the two books I read (and blogged about) before were big time suck-fests. But this was a pretty good book. Like I said to mom: I'm not not recommending it to people, I'm just not really recommending it, either. It was fairly enjoyable, and a really interesting story to be told - I just wasn't too keen on the writing style after a while. I like description up to a point. But I felt about this the way I feel after reading a Hemmingway novel - I liked it, but after awhile I feel like "Ok, ok, I get it. The grass was wet." Geesh. A little too touchy-feely, a little too descriptive as an overall work. But again, not a bad book or story.
It's about a young married couple, David and Nora, who are expecting their first child. David is a doctor, and the night his wife goes into labor he gets the surprise of his life - his wife gives birth to twins, a boy and a girl. The girl is born with Down Syndrome, and in order to spare his wife heartache (it's a long story how we get here, I'll spare you), he asks his assistant to take the baby girl to a "home" and tells Nora that the baby died during child birth. Well, the assistant can't bear to leave the baby at the "home" so she decides to take the little girl, Phoebe, and raise her - thinking that David will want her back in a few days, weeks, months, once he realizes the enormity of what he did.
Needless to say, this opens up a whole Pandora's box of problems for everyone involved, and takes us through the next 20 years of their lives. It's a really interesting look at family, what it means to be a parent, secrets, and, ultimately, truth. But I felt like the ending was tied up too neatly with a bow - life doesn't typically work that way, and so I don't typically like it when my books do. Especially not when it takes hundreds of pages to get there with way too much description about unimportant objects within a room.
All in all, I give it a B-.

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