Elena asked:

i don't understand - how did Nora have a memorial for the daughter if there was no body?! How did they explain the missing baby body and why there couldn't be a funeral?! What did Nora think - where did the baby's body go?!

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Christina Pedersen Doesn't he tell her she's already been buried?
Wiedienacht Another part of it may be, and Nora admits this herself, that it was a point in time where the wife was in a lot of ways subservient to the husband. Her grief allowed her to push, but not far enough. She acquiesced because her husband was supposed to know better than she. It's one of the biggest themes of the book, how that dynamic initially shaped their marriage, how she finally rebelled against it, how it hurt them both. (Alongside the "death" of her daughter.)

As far as no one else questioning the missing body, it probably had to do with the doctor's connections, although it isn't really explained in the book, as far as I can remember.
Donna Bond Memorials are by definition, without a body. A funeral service is when a body is present.
Terryls By definition, it is referred to as a memorial service when the body isn’t present. There are many circumstances why a service may be held without a body. It is a funeral service when the body is present. In chapter 3 as they leave the office to go home, Norah asks to see her daughter’s body. David tells her he already gave the body to Bentley to bury in the cemetery on his family farm.
Jojo David "buried" her on his friend's land. Once Norah learns that Phoebe isn't dead, she reflects that David's friend probably knew about the whole situation as well. I'm sure he could have covered it up easily since he was a well-known doctor in Lexington.
Natalia I think part of Nora tried to mitigate her sentence by making a monument of the baby she never knew. I don't think a body is needed for this. And I think too she was very concerned to want to even see the body of her supposedly dead baby. Never know how the mother reacts when told that your newborn baby has died. Not all equally react.
Marlene Flippen This took place in the 1960's. Women didn't ask the questions that women would ask now. She just accepted what her husband told her and this was common place in the early 60's.
Kasey Allen
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Teddy O'Malley Here is an article about some similar events that occurred circa 1965.

Iris I think she did ask to see the body but the Husband said it was better not to. So she listened to him, and from what I can remember, regretted it because she never got to see her daughter.
Kristina My sister lost her 1st baby during birth and she doesn't even asked for her baby's body because of how sad and devastated she is. She realized that she wasn't able to hold her little one when we had a mass for the baby's 40th day. When you're in that position, you'll understand.
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by Kim Edwards (Goodreads Author)
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