Author: Kim Edwards
Title: The Memory-Keeper’s Daughter
Description: Twins are born on a stormy night; the only people in attendance at the birth are the babies’ father, a doctor, and his nurse. When he realizes that one of the babies has Down Syndrome, the doctor asks the nurse to take the baby to an institution and tells his wife that she was stillborn. The book follows this family: the doctor, his wife, the boy they keep, and the daughter. The nurse, Caroline, can’t bring herself to leave the baby; she ends up keeping her and moving away.
Review source: Penguin bonanza
Plot: These babies were born in 1964 when many persons with Down Syndrome were institutionalized. This book imagines the effect that such a decision would have on a family. The remaining members of the family all feel the absence of Phoebe, the daughter; Phoebe herself feels no such absence.
Characters: The book is largely a character study; the set-up is created and the characters develop from the initial action, like a pearl being created around a piece of sand.
Writing style: The book is quiet, slow-moving--very typical of literary fiction.
Audience: Literary fiction, probably women more than men.
Wrap-up: I generally like character-driven books, but these characters were not very appealing. 3/5*