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The Memory Keeper's Daughter    by Kim Edwards order for
Memory Keeper's Daughter
by Kim Edwards
Order:  USA  Can
Penguin, 2006 (2005)
Hardcover, Paperback, CD

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* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Daninhirsch

The year is 1964. It is a snowy day in March, and Norah and David Henry are about to have their first baby. Their doctor has an accident on the way to the office, so David, a doctor himself, delivers his child, a perfectly healthy baby boy. Moments later, an unexpected surprise: he delivers the child's twin.

He immediately realizes that the baby girl has Down's Syndrome. David makes a split second decision that will affect him and everyone around him for the rest of their lives: he asks his nurse, Caroline, to take the baby to an institution for retarded children. Meanwhile, David tells Norah that the baby died, and her grief is so profound that she never fully recovers. 

In the meantime, Caroline is horrified by the conditions at the institution, and, without really intending to, ends up raising the child herself. 

David's decision has an irreversible effect on his life, his wife's life, and their marriage. David turns to photography, while Norah becomes a travel agent, both seeking ways to escape their loss. This well-crafted, thoughtfully written book is a page-turner, and is chock full of moral issues - book clubs should devour The Memory Keeper's Daughter.

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