Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Memory Keeper’s Daughter

The Gist (don’t worry, no spoilers here)
The scene is set in 1964, Lexington USA. An orthopaedic surgeon and his young and delicate wife were expecting a baby. On the night of the delivery, a blizzard hits the town and the doctor was forced to deliver his own babies, fortunately with the help of his nurse. Instead of one, 2 babies were born, twins; a healthy baby boy and a baby girl with down-syndrome. In that moment, the doctor made a single decision that would haunt him and his family’s lives for a quarter of a century.

The Characters
Dr David Henry: Orthopaedic surgeon and doting husband. Mysterious character, even to his wife and friends. Had a difficult childhood and a family history lined with problems.

Norah Henry: Wife of David Henry. A delicate and fragile woman, married at a very young age.

Caroline Gill: Devoted nurse and assistant to Dr. Henry. She helped deliver the twins and later became an accomplice to Dr Henry’s plans.

Paul Henry: The strong and healthy twin with an extraordinary gift for music. Rebellious in nature and hates his father.

Phoebe Henry: The twin with down-syndrome. Labelled as a retard by society.

My Synopsis
I saw a lot of hype surrounding this book and the summary at the back was interesting enough to propel me to read it. Plus, I really liked the cover (spoooky!). The numerous rave reviews somewhat reinforced my decision. After taking more than a week to finish the book, I have to say that I was left more disappointed than delighted. The first 3 quarters of the book was draggy and unbelievably depressing thanks to the sombre and dismal characters. I didn’t like the writing style either and found that the switch between scenes were sometimes confusing. It just wasn’t my cup of tea so I’m only giving this a 3/5. Maybe Kim’s latest book the “The Secrets of a Fire King” would fare better but I’m not counting too much on it. My next read? Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol…hopefully this one will not disappoint!

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