I'm going to go ahead and call to order my imaginary book club. This month we've been reading The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards. I hope everyone had time to finish it. Go ahead and grab some cookies from the refreshment table and have a seat so we can get started.
Yep. I agree it was really different than Kite Runner. Kite Runner was told entirely from one individual's point of view. I think maybe that made it feel more personal to me. Like maybe Amir and Hassan had sat on the couch in my living room sharing goldfish crackers with my kids while the World's Most Annoying Dog jumped on them.
The Memory Keeper's Daughter was told from shifting points of view. Which I really liked because getting other people's perspective was really important. But it made it feel different. Almost like watching the characters on television. Which is okay, because, honestly, I spent a big portion of the book exceptionally intrigued with the main character.
He's a doctor. Due to a big snow storm, he ends up delivering his own children. It's the 1960s so they didn't know they were having twins. The 2nd baby is born with Down's Syndrome but his wife isn't aware she even had a second child because she's not awake at the time. The doctor decides she would be better off without that kid so he sends the baby away with a nurse and tells his wife the second baby died.
The thing that intrigued me was how that seemed like a good plan. I'm not an expert at scamming people about missing babies, but I think I'd rather not mention the second baby at all if I'm him. I mean, a baby dying is still monumentally rough. If we're looking to spare her pain, why not skip that grief too?
It was a different time and the doctor based his decision on the child potentially dying young due to complications. His own mother had lost a child and never recovered from it emotionally. He didn't want that for his wife. I think he really thought he was doing something out of love for her. And I think once he did it there was no turning back. Because the lies just compounded. Because then you're holding a funeral. And then the whole town knows and then it's a whole thing and how are you supposed to turn all of that around? If you confess the truth, everyone will hate you. Talk about digging yourself into a hole.
I had a hard time accepting the doctor's decision. It's the premise for the whole book. Looking at how that decision affects the lives of everyone involved. I think my main problem was that I felt for the mother. I can't imagine my child being on this planet and I don't even know she exists or get to see her or know her or hug her. That was the difficult part for me. But I think that's part of it. That the doctor grasps that too. And he feels the longing to tell her and the profound guilt about what he did. Except he has to try to live with it and continue a normal life. Complicated.
I liked The Memory Keeper's Daughter. Different but intriguing. Kudos to No Way for the recommendation. Since finishing it, I've even had the added pleasure of harassing my husband to confess where he sent my extra children. Good times.
Me and my imaginary book club are going to continue to make our way through the list of recommendations I previously received. I ordered them from Amazon and everything. They're sitting on my dining room table right this second. I know. I'm so on the ball. Although I haven't finished the newest 4 year old's butterfly costume and we're going to a Halloween carnival in 3 hours. Yikes.
The imaginary book club's next selection is Bel Canto by Ann Patchett. Michelle from I Got Two, Babe told me to read that next and I'm nothing if not highly susceptible to suggestion. See you at the next meeting! Please be on time. And bring cookies. Brownies would be good too. No nuts. See you then.