Wednesday, January 13, 2010
The Memory Keeper's Daughter
This book is a few years old, so I'm sure at least one of you have possibly read it. If you have read it, I would love to know your thoughts. This one would've been great to read as a group because it is SO thought provoking.
In case you've never heard of this story, the basis is this... It's about Dr. David Henry and his wife, Norah. The book begins with her at the very end of her pregnancy in 1964 ( I loved that it was in 1964, because that's the year that The Help ended with, so I was still in that same frame of mind) and she goes into labor during a horrible blizzard. Well, being that it was 1964, she didn't know anything really about the baby she was carrying. And also, with the weather being what it was, her husband couldn't make it to the hospital for her to deliver, he had to go to his office, which was very near their house. His nurse made it in to help with the delivery, but her OB went into a ditch on the way there, so David ended up having to do the birthing himself. Well, also, in those days, they used gas to put the woman under so she wouldn't have to experience the awful pain of childbirth. The birth went fine and they had a perfect sweet little boy. Well, David was awaiting the afterbirth and the contractions got very intense again, and he realized that there was another baby coming. The second baby was a little girl and she had Down's Syndrome. His wife was still under and David made the decision to have his nurse take this baby to an institution thinking he was saving his family the pain of this child possibly having all kinds of health problems, which could lead to an early death. When Norah came to, he told her the second baby had died.
This book is about how this horrible secret tore at their lives and also about the nurse, Caroline, and this little girl, Phoebe.
It is so heart wrenching and such a worthy read.
There is only one thing I wish she had written differently, but honestly, if she had, it probably would've added another two to three hundred pages to this book and it's already a 400 pg book, so it's probably best that she took the story where she did. :)
I highly recommend it! :)