A brilliantly-crafted, stunning debut, The Memory Keeper's Daughter, explores the way life takes unexpected turns, and how the mysterious ties that hold a family together help us survive the heartache that occurs when long-buried secrets burst into the open. During a snowstorm on a winter night in 1964, David's young wife, Norah, goes into labor prematurely. When the storm prevents her obstetrician from attending the birth, David and his nurse, Caroline, must handle it themselves. Caroline puts Norah to sleep ?a standard practice then? and David delivers an unanticipated set of twins. His son, born first, is perfectly healthy. Yet when his daughter is born, he sees immediately that she has Down's syndrome. Haunted by the memory of growing up with a chronically ill sister and rationalizing it as a need to protect Norah, his wife, David makes a split-second decision that will alter all of their lives forever. He asks Caroline to take his infant daughter to an institution and never to reveal the secret, but Caroline, the nurse, cannot leave the infant. 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 long-ago winter night. A heart-wrenching book, by turns light and dark, literary and suspensful. Library Journal Anyone would be struck by the extraordinary power and sympathy of The Memory Keeper's Daughter. The Washington Post.
About the Author
Kim Edwards is the author of the short story collection The Secrets of a Fire King, which was an alternate for the 1998 PEN/Hemingway Award, and she has won both the Whiting Award and the Nelson Algren Award. A graduate of the Iowa Writer's Workshop, she currently teaches writing at the University of Kentucky.