I neglected to consult the Rory Gilmore Reading Challenge list before picking up The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards. For some reason, I thought it was on the list; it's not. It should be though! Although this wasn't my favorite book, I did enjoy it and could relate to almost every character in the novel. Overall, it is a story of multiple lives intersecting in obvious and not so obvious ways. It is about both the ties that bind family together and the secrets, ulterior motives, feelings, hopes and dreams that may also tear families apart. It is a study in contrasts and similarities as well. There are so many parallels in this novel that I actually want to read it again with a notebook to jot down ideas and maybe make a study guide to go with it.
The Memory Keeper's Daughter and I loved the characters. The characters all felt very real, very human to me. None were truly bad nor truly good. They were human with the many complexities that we all have. The mother, Norah, had both her devotion to her husband but also a growing desire to live her own life and fulfill her own dreams. Norah and her husband, David, are both touched by, even consumed by, the tragedy of losing a child but in very different ways. They both believe they are meant to live their lives in certain ways only to open themselves up to other possibilities along the way whether it be by travel or photography or other means. Their son, Paul, struggles as many children do, to follow his own passion in the face of his parents' hopes, dreams, and fears for his future. Nurse Caroline makes a split-second decision that alters her life forever as well as the life of a child.
What I didn't love as much were what seemed like very long lapses of time going by in the novel without any storyline or plot information from Caroline and the child she rescues (for lack of a better word). The title, while it does have meaning, I would say several meanings, didn't feel totally right as not enough of the story was given over to the this second child, the one Caroline takes in and raises as her own. I found myself wanting more from this part of the story. There was a lot missing that I wanted filled in. The ending felt the same. I wanted to know more about how life turns out for this second child.
Have you read The Memory Keeper's Daughter? What did you think of it? Also, did you know it was turned into a movie? I looked for the film on Netflix but couldn't find it. I did, however, find it on Amazon.com Instant Video
and it is available for streaming. I think I'll be watching it tonight! In the meantime, here is the video trailer for the movie:
If you haven't seen the television show "Gilmore Girls" you are missing on out on some fast talking, diner food eating, book reading goodness. This blog is about celebrating the book reading aspect, but you might also find additional references to "Gilmore Girls" or reading in general throughout. Some awesome soul compiled a list of 349 books read or featured on "Gilmore Girls", and this blog is my attempt to read all of them in two years. Join me for the good, the bad, the oh-my-gosh-i-don't-wanna-read-that, and more. For every book I complete, I will be donating books to children.