Sunday, May 15, 2011

Bookish Review: The Memory Keeper's Daughter

I had heard a lot about The Memory Keeper's Daughter (maybe you have, too?) before reading it, but it was again a situation where I had beard a lot of positive buzz, but I didn't really know what the book was about.

The book is well-written, but it is a tough read--it focuses on how a lie and a secret can poison a marriage and destroy lives. Not exactly a light read, but it does have a hopeful ending, so hang in there.

Dr. David Henry tells his young wife that their son is born healthy (true), but that his twin sister died shortly after birth ( a lie). When the baby girl was born, he recognizes that she had Down's Syndrome and orders his nurse to take her to an institution. The nurse absconds with the baby instead, unable to leave the baby at the institution. His wife drops into a depression, and he lies to her for the rest of their lives together, eventually poisoning the marriage so completely that they get a divorce.

The book is an interesting examination of what secrets and lies (under the guise of "protecting" someone) can do to a relationship, as well as a look at how people with Down Syndrome were treated in the 1960s-1980s.

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