The Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards

10441At the outset, I really enjoyed this book. I was sucked into the premise, and I could see that it had a lot of potential to be an incredible book. But somewhere along the way, Edwards dropped the ball.

For me, the most disconcerting thing about this novel was the characterization. After nearly an entire book filled with page after page of these characters’ thoughts, emotions, inner struggles, etc., you would think the characters themselves would be leaping off the page at you. But about 3/4 of the way through the book, I suddenly realized I didn’t know Norah at all. The young wife from the beginning transformed into this assured, powerful woman so suddenly that her character just didn’t make sense. The more I thought about it, the more I realized I didn’t really know any of the characters. Although you spend so much time inside the heads of these characters, all the little details don’t quite add up into a believable whole.

The premise and the plot were very well-conceived, although it could move a bit slowly at times. I can see that Edwards is creating a study on the way lies can form and break relationships and lives, and there are some beautiful passages and some great truths to be found here. But after finishing it, my first thought of …”Eh. That wasn’t bad,” told me that Edwards could have done something more with this novel.

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2 Responses

  1. Isn’t it strange when a book can have so much insight into a character and yet you still don’t feel like you know the character or how they developed.

  2. It is strange. I suppose every now and then, a character simply doesn’t “work,” no matter how much you describe them. Thanks for the comments!

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