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Memory Keeper cover
January 2006
The Memory Keeper’s Daughter
by Kim Edwards

In The Memory Keeper’s Daughter, a decision made in just a few seconds plays out in five characters’ lives over the course of more than 20 years. A doctor, David, is forced to deliver his own child during a 1964 blizzard. To his shock, he learns that his wife, Norah, is carrying twins—and that the second baby has Down’s syndrome. He asks his nurse, Caroline, to take the girl to an institution and tells Norah that the second twin died at birth. But Caroline is unable to leave the baby at the grim place he has chosen and decides instead to leave town and raise the child, Phoebe, as her own. As the years pass, David is haunted by the secret he carries and becomes more and more distant. Norah and their son, Paul, attempt to fill the emotional void he has created in all their lives. And Caroline struggles to give Phoebe a fair chance in a world that does not welcome children like her. Author Kim Edwards explores the damaged relationships among her characters with compassion and insight, chronicling the connections they try to make—with varying degrees of success—in order to give their lives meaning. Ultimately, the novel’s message is one of hope and healing: The past cannot be undone, but these people, each in his or her own way, can learn how to deal with the present.

Watch the program [requires RealPlayer®].

Blurbs from the book cover

Card catalog entry from the Library of Congress

Reader’s guide from Penguin, including an interview with Edwards and discussion questions information page

Barnes and Noble information page

Kim Edwards

bookclub interview from January 1999

Kim Edwards' Aristotle's Lantern, published in Zoetrope

Also by Kim Edwards: The short-story collection The Secrets of a Fire King was our February 1999 selection.

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