The Memory Keepers Daughter Essay

Published: 2020-04-22 15:24:05
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Category: Memory

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In a 1964 Kentucky blizzard, Dr. David Henry delivers his own twins, Paul and Phoebe, but the girl is afflicted with Downs Syndrome. Disheartened, the doctor keeps wife Norah from learning this grief by stating the baby is dead. He gives Nurse Caroline single, 31, and secretly in love with him his broken Phoebe to be institutionalized. Unable to leave the infant at the mental institute, Caroline flees Kentucky with Phoebe, hoping to begin living her dream of family. The Penguin Group (USA) most recently published The Memory Keepers Daughter, by Kim Edwards, in paperback in May 2006.

Viking Press (owned by Penguin) released the hardcover edition in June 2005. Previously, Penguin released Microsoft reader eBook in June 2003, the Adobe reader eBook in June 2005, and the Palm reader eBook in June 2005. The author shows that secrets can do great harm and it may be better to reveal the truth and get help with it. She shows how communications break down when families want to hide secrets. Families drift apart and become angry, isolated, dysfunctional individuals. If they shared their problems, they might be able to realize their dreams. David secretly grew up poor, among the uneducated.

His sister died of heart problems at 12, so he wanted to spare Norah from Phoebe. Not talking it out, he rashly threw away his daughter to the asylum community. Secretly loving David, Caroline took part of him Phoebe and went off to have a life. The good twin Paul grew up, but Norah and David drifted apart. 2 Norah started working and had several affairs instead of talking to David about the grief of her dead baby. However, the baby is not dead but is Davids new secret. Paul turns to music for expression. David takes pictures, trying to capture and control his life with his camera, the Memory Keeper, but never succeeds.

He is alone with fragmented images. If Caroline had stayed, she might have married David. If David and Norah had talked, they may have kept Phoebe. There are many possibilities, but, any of them were possible only with communication and that did not occur. I have learned that perhaps better communication might prevent much of the dysfunction in American society today. I agree with the author that secrets like these are deadly. They kill the heart and mind.


Edwards, K. The Memory Keepers Daughter. Viking Press. 2005.

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