The Memory Keeper's Daughter
by Kim Edwards
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Dr. David Henry is forced by a blizzard to deliver his own twins. His son is perfectly healthy, but his daughter has Down's syndrome. Rationalizing it as a need to protect his wife, he asks his nurse to take the baby away to an institution. Instead, the nurse disappears into another city to raise th... More

Missmath144's Review

Missmath144Missmath144 wrote a review
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Twins -- one born healthy, the other with Down Syndrome. This was 1964 when the life expectancy for a Down Syndrome child was short (largely because they were locked away in institutions that assumed they couldn't learn or function). The father was a doctor and ended up delivering the baby himself with no one but his nurse and wife present. He told the nurse to take the baby to a specific institution and he told his wife the baby had died. The nurse, upon seeing the inside of the institution, couldn't bear to leave the baby there, so she ran away with her and raised her as her own child. She fought to get her daughter the rights that other children have to a decent education, and she organized other parents in the battle for justice. Throughout the book we watch the two families, one torn apart by the loss of child they had never known, and the other blessed by the presence of that child.