Memory Keeper’s Daughter

Its been a long time since I last finish a novel… Recently I trained myself to read during the connecting short bus ride to work… hence, I’m able to read this book within a decent period of time…

The Memory Keeper's Daughter

The story is set in 1964 where a Doctor has to help his wife give birth during a snow storm when their gynae couldn’t make it to the clinic. Upon receiving his first child, a son named Paul, he was very happy and glad to see his birth. He loves his wife alot. However, he soon realize that his wife is carrying twins. So he helped deliver their daughter, Phoebe, whom at first look he knew has down syndrome. Having a own sister who suffer from down syndrome, he deduce that she will not live long and might suffer from other complications like heart disease. Not wanting to see his wife suffer from the lost of their daughter, like how his own mum suffered, he made the painful decision to ask the nurse to bring their daughter to a home for those like her.

Upon arriving at the home, the nurse felt that the place was not for infants. So she decides to bring Phoebe away and raise her like her own. On the other hand, the doctor told his wife that their daughter has passed on. But who is to know his decision to “save” his wife from the grief will actually pull them apart and as a result causing more hurt not only to them, but also to Paul.

I’m glad I only read this after I gave birth… cause in the first few chapters, the author manage to describe quite vividly the process of giving birth… I can really understand the pain and anxiety that the wife was going through during the pregnancy and birth giving process. I think I’m just lucky that I can give birth in days where epidural is widely available…

The author also mention that it wasn’t such a common practice to breast feed during those time… the words that he use to describe the breast feeding process… the sudden flux of pain when the milk comes.. I really can understand what he is trying to say… and when the wife look at their small son, feeling his small hands… seeing him grow…. all just strike a cord in my heart….

Coming back to the main plot.. seriously when I was pregnant with Zai, there was a test to see if the child might have down syndrome… although the possibility is low for us, we still went ahead to do the test… and during the discussion process of whether should we do it, we also discuss whether the result will make a difference to us… that is to say, should the result be positive, what are we going to do? if we are still gonna keep the baby, then it doesn’t matter whether we do the test or not… but for both of us, we feel that we will probably take the “baby” away… cruel, you might say.. but we really have to think of the long term… who is gonna help us take care when we pass on? are we ready financially and emotionally to take on this burden? selfish? probably a little… but I am thankful that there is such technology these days to help in the diagnosis early (and thank god that Zai is healthy)…. we are not trying to play god, and neither are we a saint…

so if you asked me whether the Doctor did the right thing… i seriously have no answer to that… but he probably should not have lied to his wife… cause the baby is theirs… they should have discuss it together… but probably in those days even in a western country, the man is still the dominating role…. which is probably why he feels that he have to protect his wife from the pain…. but sometimes we really shouldn’t assume to much…

Overall, I would say this is nice book to read.. I would have finish it faster if i can find the time to read during the night… but i’m busy with Zai… so 😛


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