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  Library Journal Review

During a blizzard in 1964, Norah Henry gives birth to twins. Owing to the storm, her husband, Dr. David Henry, delivers the babies-one a boy, the other a girl who clearly has Down syndrome. David decides to send the daughter, Phoebe, to an institution, telling his wife the infant died. There is a catch, however: the nurse entrusted with the errand cannot bear to give Phoebe away. Norah pours her soul into raising her son but forever mourns the loss of her daughter; Phoebe, meanwhile, thrives under the loving care of her accidental mother, and the secret of her existence creates an impenetrable wall between David and Norah Henry. First-time novelist Edwards-author of the short story collection The Secrets of a Fire King-has written a heart-wrenching book, by turns light and dark, literary and suspenseful. A natural for book discussion groups; recommended.-Keddy Ann Outlaw, Harris Cty. P.L., Houston (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

  Booklist Review

David Henry's life was turning out as he hoped. He was a doctor, married to a beautiful woman, Nora, with a baby on the way. But everything changed overnight because of one fateful decision. On a winter evening in 1961, a blizzard brewing, Nora goes into labor. Due to the weather, they could only make it to the clinic, not the hospital, and only Caroline, the nurse, arrived to help deliver the baby. David delivers his own child, a perfectly healthy son. But when Nora continues her labor, David realizes she is carrying twins; and the second child, a girl, is born with Down syndrome. Wanting to protect his wife from the devastating news, David gives the child to Caroline to take to an institution, asking her never to reveal the secret. Caroline takes the baby and disappears. Unfolding the plot over the course of 25 years, Edwards tells a moving story of two families bound by a secret that both eats away at relationships and eventually helps to create new ones. --Carolyn Kubisz Copyright 2005 Booklist

  Kirkus Review

One well-intentioned lie causes deep fissures in a family. David Henry had a hard childhood in West Virginia. His family was dirt poor and his sister June, always sickly, died of a heart defect at 12. Vowing to do good, David left home to become an orthopedic surgeon in Lexington, Ky. He's 33 when he meets Norah Asher in a department store. The year is 1964, and it's love at first sight. David delivers his and Norah's own twins--a boy (Paul) who's fine, and a girl (Phoebe) who is damaged with Down's syndrome. Hoping to spare her the pain he underwent with his sister, David tells Norah that the girl is stillborn and instructs his nurse, Caroline, to deliver the infant to an institution. Secretly in love with David, Caroline, who is shocked by his subterfuge and shocked again by the grim shelter, decides to move away and raise Phoebe on her own. Over the next 25 years, parallel stories unfold. In Lexington, the loss of the supposedly dead baby corrodes David and Norah's marriage. Neither they nor son Paul can be warmed by life together, each keeping busy with pet projects. In Pittsburgh, meanwhile, Caroline lands on her feet, securing a good job and a good man, and raising Phoebe with a fierce devotion. Unfortunately, after its fast and sure-footed start, the story sags: Edwards insists heavy-handedly on the consequences of David's lie but fails to deliver any true catharsis, and when David does confess, it's not to Norah. Visiting his childhood home, he is surprised by a squatter, a pregnant runaway of 16 who ties him up--and his story tumbles out. It's a bold scene, rekindling the excitement of the start yet remaining a solitary flash in a humdrum progression. When the family finally learns the truth, the impact is minimal. First-novelist Edwards (stories: The Secrets of a Fire King, 1997) excels at celebrating a quiet wholesomeness but stumbles over her storyline. Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
A #1 New York Times bestseller by Kim Edwards, The Memory Keeper's Daughter is a brilliantly crafted novel of parallel lives, familial secrets, and the redemptive power of love<br> <br> Kim Edwards's stunning novel begins on a winter night in 1964 in Lexington, Kentucky, when a blizzard forces Dr. David Henry to deliver his own twins. His son, born first, is perfectly healthy, but the doctor immediately recognizes that his daughter has Down syndrome. Rationalizing it as a need to protect Norah, his wife, he makes a split second decision that will alter all of their lives forever. He asks his nurse, Caroline, to take the baby away to an institution and never to reveal the secret. Instead, she disappears into another city to raise the child herself. So begins this beautifully told story that unfolds over a quarter of a century--in which these two families, ignorant of each other, are yet bound by the fateful decision made that winter night long ago.<br> <br> A family drama, The Memory Keeper's Daughter explores every mother's silent fear: What would happen if you lost your child and she grew up without you? It is also an astonishing tale of love and how the mysterious ties that hold a family together help us survive the heartache that occurs when long-buried secrets are finally uncovered.
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