The Memory Keeper's Daughter The Memory Keeper's Daughter discussion


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the memory keeper's daughter by kim edwards

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Mandi I am currently reading this book and am having a hard time finishing it. I can't get attached to any of the charecters and the story is really dragging. Is anyone else having this problem or is the book worth reading til the end? I purchased the book a few days ago because a friend referred it to me. Thanks


Johanna it took me months to finish the book. and i really only did that because i was committed to it although not attached to the characters at all. the story does drag and the characters are caught in cyclical moping patterns. overall i found this book a disappointment


Nicola Kelly I understand what you mean about the cyclical moping patterns but I was caught up in whether the family would ever meet Phoebe which kept me reading...


Yaelian I am so happy to read these comments! I thought I was the only one! I am completely stalled and unable to finish it. The only reason I will eventually finish it is because the link between Caroline and Nora is still incomplete. But I've grown to hate all the characters (except David, whom she killed off) in the meanwhile.


Kristin I couldn't even finish the book. I really wanted to read it because I liked the storyline, but couldn't get through it.


message 6: by Beryl (new) - added it

Beryl I sort of read this book quite a while ago. Frankly, it stunk. The characters are underdeveloped and unappealing. I also had a hard time finishing it. In fact, I only skimmed it from the middle part to the end. I sent it back to the publisher informing them that this was an insult to my intelligence. I cannot believe this is a best seller that people actually read!


message 7: by Masymas (last edited Feb 21, 2008 08:05AM) (new)

Masymas I am not much of a critic, I tend to like everything, an interesting problem. But I thought the authors whole point was the undercurrent of the secret, and what kept me reading was it's impact on people's lives, and psyche's, especially david's. Some of that was a little contrived, but i was drawn in to the secret, one momentary decision by two people and what becomes of it. I was also drawn in by the fact that this was not an uncommon response to having a child with down's syndrome. I'd say that aspect of the story is what made it a bestseller, not it's character development, but it's human content, a cautionary tale in favor of honesty.


message 8: by Kara (new) - rated it 1 star

Kara I couldn't finish it either for the same reasons. The premise seemed great, but it took entirely to long to tell the story. I gave up and never finished it.


Gwen I really enjoyed this book! I thought the writing was beautiful and the characters were complex and interesting.


message 10: by Tina (new) - rated it 1 star

Tina I just finished this book, and I'm glad I'm not the only one with a horrible review! I totally thought the characters were completely unrelateable, and that the story dragged on and on and on...I finished it because I had started it, but boy was I glad when I was finally done with it!


message 11: by Amanda (new) - added it

Amanda my book is now in the trash - thats how bad I thought it was!


Joanne I'm really surprised at all of the negative comments. I just finished it about a week ago and I absolutely loved it. I thought it was an interesting study on how one event can change a family's entire dynamic.


Angela Diedrich Someone loaned me this book (because she thought it was good, believe it or not!) so I felt I had to finish it. I finished it but I did not enjoy it. A positive note: I'm relieved that I didn't BUY this book! =)


Angela Diedrich Someone loaned me this book (because she thought it was good, believe it or not!) so I felt I had to finish it. I finished it but I did not enjoy it. A positive note: I'm relieved that I didn't BUY this book! =)


message 15: by Amy (new) - rated it 4 stars

Amy Genske I know what you are saying. I half read this book about a year ago. I could not finish it either. I also felt some characters did not even belong. Iam also glad I got this from the library and did not buy it. :)


message 16: by Joyce (new)

Joyce I read it and found it disappointing. I always felt the reader was kept at too much of a distance from the characters, like we were viewing them through a filter. Did see that it has become a Lifetime (I think) movie that is airing sometime soon.


Rachael I would definitely agree that it took me longer to read this short book than it should have. I would suggest finishing it. I found, and others may not agree, that it got easier to read after the son was introduced as a teenager. At that point we also got to hear more about Phoebe, and Nora finally stopped going on for pages about the same thing. Plus I found the relationship between David and his son to be very sad and yet very interesting and real (thinking of my own brother and father). There is an inability in many men to relate to their sons. They love them, and yet don't know how to love them. Thus the son assumes they don't. How that helps some-what.


Venessa I completely agree with Masymas, Gween and Jo6353! I was also drawn to the secret and the impact it had - how it changed those involved - even if they didn't know the secret (aka Nora and Paul).



Kristin Frane I really enjoyed this book too - I read it about a year ago and still think about it. I did think the wife was a bit dramatic and needed to get over her issues w/ her husband. He wasn't that bad?!


Christina Stind I finished this book in less than a day and actually I liked it. It's not the best book I've ever read but I didn't think it was as bad as seems to be the general consensus here. What kept me going was the secret too - will David ever tell Norah, will she ever know that her daughter didn't die? I thought the writer did an excellent job in showing how a secret this size rips a family apart.


message 21: by Ann (new) - added it

Ann I am reading this book right now - well, I'm listening to it on audiobooks. It's endless and tedious. The only reason I continue on is that I have been driving a lot lately, and audiobooks help pass the time. However, this one is so bad. I feel like shaking David and Nora and telling them to grow up or get divorced.

Also, as I mention in my review, the details just aren't credible. For example, the man's name was David Henry McAllister. When he was accepted to college, the person typing the acceptance left off the name "McAllister," so he was able to live the rest of his life as David Henry. Come one - what about Social Security? What about his high school transcript? What about birth certificates?

I have to wonder why the author put so many of these stupid, unbelievable details in her novel. Doesn't she know that they disrupt the flow of the story?

I, too, am glad I didn't buy the book.


message 22: by Emily (new)

Emily Rule Huh, Yeah I liked it too, but probably just because I'm fascinated by family dynamics. It was interesting to see how the family as a unit was affected by the secret and it really made me more aware of my own family and the barriers that I could be creating. I also felt like a learned a lot about down syndrome, especially the emotions involved with it, which is a subject I think is still a bit taboo in todays society. It made me more empathetic to those parents who raise these beautiful children today.


message 23: by Tina (new) - rated it 4 stars

Tina i finished this book in 2 days... i thought it was an interesting read!!!


Hayley Mosely I just finished reading the book myself and was disappointed. I knew that it was not one of my favorites when it took me a month to read it and if I really love a book it will take me a week at the most. I just found it really sad and tragic. I don't think it's the worst book I have ever read, but it is not a book that I would recommend anyone to read.


Suzanne I too would never recommend this book to ANYONE. I finished it fast to find out how it all resolved but also so I could take it back to the library and get it out of my mind. I thought Norah was the most selfish human being and I really like David.


Joanne Although I agree with you about Nora being selfish, in her defense, David did rob her of her child. Who knows how she would have been if she raised both children.


message 27: by Colleen (new) - added it

Colleen I agree with Amber about the author's overuse of some words. That distracts me, much as a speaker using .... um ... filler words distracts me from the speaker's message.
My sister lives in Lexington KY, the primary setting for this book, and recommended it to me based on its local popularity. I enjoyed the study of the impact of a lie on the lives of all the characters, but would have preferred more character development. I wouldn't recommend this book.


Jaclyn I completly agree!! I forced myself to finish this book. I would pick it up, read a page and put it back down. Honestly I skimmed a lot of the second half just to get through it which is not like me at all! I love to read!(I'm an English and reading teacher) This book though just didn't do it for me.


Cathy Hi, I don't think you are uncritical I think you are spot on - well at least I saw the book the same way as you. I thought it had quite a lot to say.

Cathy


message 30: by Amy (new) - rated it 1 star

Amy This book was boring, slow and predictable. I thoroughly disliked it.


Jennifer oh phew i'm glad i'm not alone here! i'm in the middle of the book now and i was just saying to my friend that i thought it was draaaaaaaging! i'm going to finish it because i have to know what happens (even though someone on here ruined part of it). i have to know if they ever meet phoebe. i also think that nora is a total selfish you know what!!


Brigitte I was very conflicted about this book; initially I found the story very interesting -- the nurse taking the baby away during a snowstorm, etc. Then the story just slowed down incredibly and I got very tired of Norah, in particular. I also thought it was ridiculous to kill off David so that he never had to face Norah once the big secret came out. What a cop out! the only person I liked at all was the nurse, whose name I cannot even recall. I guess I wanted the story to be more thought-provoking and instead it felt insulated and small.


Gloko48 I am glad I read the book before reading all the negative comments from the majority of readers. I thought the author did a great job with the characters emotions and how David's selfish decision effected all of their lives. For those of you who thought the characters were unrelateable and those who could not finish the book...please give it another shot.


Kandice I think she did a good job portraying Phoebe, so she either knows someone or did research. There was no problem with that aspect of the story. I think it just dragged.
Norah was incredibly selfish. Yes, David lied and robbed her of raising her child, but she didn't know that! Had Phoebe actually died, the circumstances, to Norah, would have been the same. She seemed to balme him, and she knew of nothin wrong on his part until he was already dead! I also felt it was a cop-out for him not to have to face Norah when she found out.
Of course you can't tell until someone is pressed upon, but Norah didn't seem to have the emotional fortitude raising Phoebe would have required. Perhaps David gave her the best life she could have hoped for.


Morgan The book was very thought provoking, but it did take a very long time for me to finish, because it dragged. But you have to look deeper into the novel to understand it's meaning. I enjoyed it, but it was defiantly not a personal favorite.


message 36: by Kei (new) - rated it 1 star

Kei I'm so happy I sold this book for $2 bucks to a used book dealer. I wish this book would've been better, but it just wasn't. I suffered through the entire book hoping it would get better and it just DIDN'T. That's downright sad...


Marianne I really enjoyed this book, couldn't put it down. My sister,Mum and aunt all thought the same. Also members of my book club, colleagues at work. When I saw there was a TV movie, I got my husband to record it, and I really enjoyed that too. So many negative views here, I guess not many people would be interested in the movie, it was well acted though.


message 38: by Char (new) - rated it 4 stars

Char Marianne wrote: "I really enjoyed this book, couldn't put it down. My sister,Mum and aunt all thought the same. Also members of my book club, colleagues at work. When I saw there was a TV movie, I got my husband to..."

A T.V. movie? Never heard of it. Hmmm I'll have to look into it. I too enjoyed this book. Sure it had it's moments but over all I thought it was an interesting read. I'd recommended it to friends.


Linda Watson I thought this book was great! and a page turner.
Maybe you needed to have some disable people in your family to understand the true meaning of the book.


Mirjam Read this with the book club i meet up with here in Ireland.
We all loved it .
I thought it was just a lovely read,it may not be literature but i enjoyed reading it.
I agree with Linda about having a different perspective if you live with a disabled person.


message 41: by Yy (new) - rated it 5 stars

Yy it took me a long time to finish this one as well, but it was good


Betsy My sister Jane was born in 1931 with cerebral palsy.Although my parents elected to keep Janey despite reccommendations to instituionalize her, I believe the author captured the dark flavor of the times' attitudes with children with handicaps.


Hannah Tina wrote: "I just finished this book, and I'm glad I'm not the only one with a horrible review! I totally thought the characters were completely unrelateable, and that the story dragged on and on and on...I f..."

ditto - i didnt like the book at all


message 44: by [deleted user] (new)

Well I seem to be one of the few who enjoyed this book, very enjoyable.


Autumn Higgins Mandi wrote: "I am currently reading this book and am having a hard time finishing it. I can't get attached to any of the charecters and the story is really dragging. Is anyone else having this problem or is t..."
For me this book startedout slow, but I ended up crying in the end. So I am going to stay stick with it! ;)


Donna Mandi wrote: "I am currently reading this book and am having a hard time finishing it. I can't get attached to any of the charecters and the story is really dragging. Is anyone else having this problem or is t..."

I read the book eons ago but I had a hard getting through the book for an entirely differrent reason .. my brother has Down syndrome and I can not imagine anyone doing what the father did to that child.


Venessa Patti wrote: "I read this many years ago and am still bothered that the father never had to answer to anyone abut the choice that he made. I wanted him to be confronted at some point."

I completely agree. It seems like he got a free pass while the mother was deemed the evil one. The way I saw it, her actions were directly related to the choice HE made. Him alone. He gave their child away without her consent/knowledge. That is unforgivable. An affair is nothing by comparison, imho. At anytime he could have confessed, but he never did.


message 48: by Hannah (last edited Aug 12, 2011 07:47AM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Hannah Venessa (PebbleCafe) wrote: "Patti wrote: "I read this many years ago and am still bothered that the father never had to answer to anyone abut the choice that he made. I wanted him to be confronted at some point."

I comple..."



his decision could not have affected Nora, she never knew so it couldnt have possibly been 'directly releated'. Giving their child away was unforgivable, but openly having an affair and destroying the family is not okay. david did not really destroy the family because none of them knew about Pheobe. So what Nora did was terrible.


Damira I am one of the few who enjoyed this book. As many have already mentioned, I especially liked the family dynamic. Pheobe's absence left such an empty space in the characters' lives, so many unresolved feelings. A tragic event often changes people in such a way that they are no longer able to find intimacy and express love for each other. The same premise is found in a book which I just finished yesterday - We Were the Mulvayes (by Joyce Carol Oates). But like many have said, I was not satisfied that David didn't reveal the secret to his family and died before he could be confronted.


Barnali Honestly the movie seemed to be much better than the book. Books on which movies are based usually reveal a lot more than the movie but this one was a quite a disappointment on that scale.


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