The Memory Keeper’s Daughter

This is quite a sad novel but in the ending does offer closure and a new life for the characters involved. In trying to avoid or steer away from what is bound to happen, they end up struggling each on their own right and then the family drifted apart, never quite understood each other until the very end when it’s too late to relive everything. Many things are left unsaid until it slowly tears down their relationship. The story revolves around David Henry, Norah, Paul, Phoebe and Caroline. David has kept photographs, weaved memories that he never had as well as those he have with his family. He delivered twins on the night of the snowstorm, first was a healthy baby boy they named Paul, and the other who was supposed to be Phoebe as his wife hoped to name was born with Down’s Syndrome. As a doctor, he has witnessed a lot of things, as also what they experienced with his sister who died of a young age, so he decided to give away his daughter, laying her upon the hands of the nurse – Caroline. He told his wife that their daughter had died. But this act has haunted their lives in the years that followed.

The format of the novel included divisions by year until when the kids have already grown up and able to take care of themselves and choose a life of their own. Norah takes up work in the travel agency and is busy travelling around and had an affair. David Henry takes in a pregnant Rosemary and contributes to the conflict between him and his wife. Paul pursues his dream of studying at Juilliard. Towards the end, David Henry died leaving some bank accounts for his daughter Phoebe who he didn’t get to know, and a note to Norah that he already fixed the leak. Later, Norah finds out and met Caroline in their house. Paul also found out about his sister. Somehow, he never did get to connect with his father, no one took the step so the misunderstandings were not cleared. Norah was to be remarried and would start a new life at a different place. Paul decided to stay behind and get to know the sister he didn’t get to know.

There’s a movie version of this, which I wasn’t able to watch yet. The novel is by Kim Edwards.


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