Why I hated The Memory Keeper’s Daughter

Kim Edwards, 2005.

Let me start by saying I didn’t read this book, as such. I read the first 60 pages, then skimmed through reading 2 or 3 pages here and there, then I read the end. And all the time I was remarking aloud “This book sucks”.

From my survey of the book I got the idea that the author was saying: “Hey readers, children with Down Syndrome can grow into wonderful adults who are loving and brighten our lives, so don’t institutionalize them. Also, don’t fake your baby’s death and lie to your wife about it because deception is bad for marriages”. Sure, there’s a book in that, but I’d like to think it’s a more interesting book than the one I just read. So here are the reasons I hated The Memory Keeper’s Daughter:

1.) It’s boring. Everything you need to know about the book is written in the summary on the inside dust jacket. There is no mystery or suspense because the story starts by relating the event that sets the plot in motion, and then just follows through describing the repercussions, which are exactly what the dust jacket says they are. “Hey, will the family ever discover that their supposedly dead daughter/sister is alive and well? According to the dust jacket, yes, they will. I just have to read 200 more pages to get to that bit.”

2.) Writing style is impersonal and characters are one-dimensional and dull. All character emotions are stated by the third person omniscient narrator, and the characters have no particular personality features besides the one the plot requires them to have. Mother feels bleakness at death of infant girl. Father feels guilt. Nurse loves little girl she raises. Yawn. And all the characters seem to think in the same way and speak in the same voice.

3.) “Redemptive power of love”, my ass. The only person who needs to be redeemed – the father – died before the story was resolved. Nobody else did anything wrong that necessitated redeeming. Did the nurse need to be redeemed from her single childlessness? Did the mother need to be redeemed from years of grief? Maybe in the “to obtain release from” sense but not in the “to make amends for” sense.

I think the book would have been more entertaining if it had started in the middle of the story, say with the somewhat compelling scene of the mother finding the box of photos of girls, and then focused on her trying to figure out what had happened and why. The author could have used conversations or flashbacks to fill in what happened at the baby’s birth. And perhaps the author could have picked one character to get inside and focused on the story from his/her point of view, instead of being so detached with all of them.

4.) The title. The [noun] [verber’s] [relative] pattern is so two years ago, e.g. The Time Traveller’s Wife, The Bonesetter’s Daughter. It reads like the publisher came up with something trendy to title the book, not like it grew naturally out of how the author was thinking about the story. If it had been published during the [verbing] [noun] title trend it would have been called ‘Keeping Memory’, or ‘Keeping Joy’ and the missing daughter would be named Joy. Also, the title evokes a magical realism which is totally lacking in the book, so I was mislead and pissed off.

And to show that it’s not just because I hate stories about the magical power of children to enrich our lives, here are some books with themes similar to The Memory Keepers Daughter that I enjoyed quite a bit:

  • Our love for children heals us and engages us with the world: Silas Marner.
  • Disavowal of a child and ensuing years of deception alienate a husband and wife: Silas Marner again.
  • Woman comes to terms with death of infant and rebuilds her life: Animal Dreams, Barbara Kingsolver
  • Death of infant erodes core of family: Cat’s Eye, Margaret Atwood. I think that’s the one – I’m thinking of the book where the mother has a miscarriage and then becomes obsessed with her parakeet. It was tragic, creepy, and interesting.

In summary, skip The Memory Keeper’s Daughter and read Silas Marner, which is actually about the redemptive power of parental love and is happy and sweet.

Advertisements

30 thoughts on “Why I hated The Memory Keeper’s Daughter

  1. vicki

    The reason you didn’t like it was because you didn’t actually read it. I had the same opinion as you at first but I always force myself to read it through to the end untill I juge it completly. I, along with other classmates, have personaly liked this book. We all had a common feeling with it as well. When we read it, whatever feelings that were going on inside of us, they just disapeared. It was a book that gives you a warm feeling and it is just like real life so it is easier to picture yourself as whomever Kim was talking about at the time. It also gives you an idea of how life was in the 60’s and 70’s. Whereas I was only born 17 years ago, I never really understood some things, but I learned some things with this book. It was a good break from all those action packed, superficial adventures. Not every book has to have people jumping out of buildings or running from fires or have to be over dramatized to be good. It all has to do with your attitude about the book when you start it. If you judge it by the title and think it’s just like every title, and basically give up after the first 60 pages, of course your not going to like it. So if you want to really criticize book read the WHOLE thing first, so then whoever comes by this page of criticism doesn’t think of you as a loony dunce.

    Reply
  2. clare

    Vicki – thanks for your comment. You’re probably right that I might enjoy the book more if I read the whole thing, but I have a rule about stopping reading books if I don’t enjoy them after 50 pages. I think I was being fair with the book – I didn’t say “it’s a bad book”, I said that I hated it, which is obviously a personal reaction. It’s not like I titled the post “An informed and objective criticism of Memory Keeper’s Daughter”. I stated up front my reasons for not liking it, so anyone who reads this post can judge for themselves whether or not they think they would agree with me if they read the book. I don’t always read books about people jumping out of fires, etc, hence the list of other books about children and families that I have enjoyed. I’m impressed that you’re 17 and you’re capable of reading a book like Memory Keeper’s Daughter and caring so much about it – I suspect that by my age (twice yours) you will have read a a bunch of great books and have little patience for a mediocre one. Also, while “loony dunce” is awesome, and not a bad description for me, not everyone who disagrees with you is stupid or insane. Some people just have different tastes. Cheers!

    Reply
  3. Pingback: Book club report: Austen, Bradbury, and No Child Left Behind « The Clareverse

  4. Karen

    I have to agree with everything you said. I hated it as well. It was the selection for our book club. I was in the minority about these feelings, the rest of the bookclub loved it.

    Reply
  5. Paula-lynn

    Ok, I agree with everything you said and am glad to finally be able to write a review without having to sign up for anything. This is one of the main reasons why I don’t join bookclubs because I am afraid that all the reading will be just as dull and boring as this was looking for a deeper more meaningful plot that as an uneducated sloth I won’t get. I too hated this book. I read it because they are filming an upcomming made for TV movie about this book in my area so it peaked my interest. Too booring. I did read the entire book, but had to force myself to, I had to tell myself that it will get better, the climax will come, I will be able to relate to these boring characters on the next page, ok, maybe the next, definately the next, but no. The last page came and I was no further interested than the first. Why does it take 3 pages to describe one scene. Its snowing… ok, but 3 pages of descriptives? Too much. Paul breaks his arm… so??? Who cares about the description of the bones on the xray??? Where is the climax here? Instead of describing the cracks on the floor, describe Davids feelings, true feelings. Doro gives Caroline her house to travel the world? What??? Again, climax please? Whats up with Rosemary? A total unneccessary character, so unneccessary that I forgot all about her being a part of the story until whe was mentioned again in one sentance regarding David’s funeral. Finally, Nora examines boxes labeled “study” ok, so here it comes, hidden pics of his daughter, NOPE. Nada, no climax in finding out, Caroline stops by for tea and spills the beans… WHAT???? Totally boring and not at all interesting, no edge of your seat excitement here. Hopefully the movie will be better.

    Reply
  6. Sandra M

    Thank you for your review. You articulated many of the objections I have to the book. The premise of the book is a brilliant one but it is so badly written and contrived.

    Reply
  7. Carleen

    Reading this post, I feel like I did when I saw the Senfield episode in which Elaine hated the movie The English Patient! I’m not alone in the world after all. 🙂

    Reply
  8. Loo Ney

    The Memory Keeper’s Daughter
    by Kim Edwards

    New York Times Bestseller ?????????

    WTF

    I was so RELIEVED to read everything here. I have been trying to read this shit book for six months. Finally last night I said, F*&^, enough is enough and I threw it away. I had read up to page 301. I had read all these great reviews when I first got the book and I was looking forward to reading it, but I could not believe how badly written and utterly BORING this book was. What was wrong with me? Am I so uneducated I can’t enjoy this book the critics are raving about?

    Actually, those critics were probably just outright bought i.e. payola, the way of the world my friend. I had to come online and warn other: do not read this book.

    Just so you know, I’m an avid reader. I love fiction and non. I read constantly. I can read a book in one night if moved to do so. This book was so horrible, I don’t even have the words to express how disappointed I was with it. I kept slogging on and sloggin on because I pride myself on finishing what I start. There was no way I could finish this dreck. HORRIBLE, HORRIBLE, hours I will never get back. Why did my friend give me this crap? She must HATE ME.

    Regards,

    Happy 43 year old female Reader 😉

    lolol

    What others say I agree with:

    This book was alright at best. Too much imagery, too many emotional cliches. It seemed the author was trying too hard to make every sentence poetic and that lost my grasp of it and made it quite boring at times. It was not a page turner and was easy to put down.

    EASY TO PUT DOWN, AMEN SISTER GIRL

    What the “writer” says: The ideas are interesting, the execution is execution.

    So I thanked my pastor, but didn’t think much more about her offer.

    The next week she stopped me again. I really have to tell you this story, she said, and she did. It was just a few sentences, about a man who’d discovered, late in life, that his brother had been born with Down’s Syndrome, placed in an institution at birth, and kept a secret from his family, even from his own mother, all his life. He’d died in that institution, unknown. I remember being struck by the story even as she told it, and thinking right away that it really would make a good novel. It was the secret at the center of the family that intrigued me. Still, in the very next heartbeat, I thought: of course, I’ll never write that book.

    And I didn’t, not for years. The idea stayed with me, however, as the necessary stories do. Eventually, in an unrelated moment, I was invited to do a writing workshop for adults with mental challenges through a Lexington group called Minds Wide Open. I was nervous about doing this, I have to confess. I didn’t have much experience with people who have mental challenges, and I didn’t have any idea of what to expect. As it turned out, we had a wonderful morning, full of expression and surprises and some very fine poetry. At the end of the class, several of the participants hugged me as they left.

    This encounter made a deep impression on me, and I found myself thinking of this novel idea again, with a greater sense of urgency and interest. Still, it was another year before I started to write it. Then the first chapter came swiftly, almost fully formed, that initial seed having grown tall while I wasn’t really paying attention. In her Paris Review interview, Katherine Anne Porter talks about the event of a story being like a stone thrown in water—she says it’s not the event itself that’s interesting, but rather the ripples the event creates in the lives of characters. I found this to be true. Once I’d written the first chapter, I wanted to find out more about who these people were and what happened to them as a consequence of David’s decision; I couldn’t stop until I knew.

    Human motivation, the simple question of why we do what we do, is often very complex, as it is here with David and his fateful decision. As his creator, were you able to sympathize in any way with his motives?

    Oh, yes, certainly. Even thought none of us may never experience a moment this dramatic, nonetheless we all have similar experiences, times when we react powerfully to an event in ways we may not completely understand until much later, if at all.

    I knew from the beginning that David wasn’t an evil person. He makes absolutely the wrong decision in that first chapter, but even so he acts out of what he believes are good intentions—the desire to protect Norah from grief, and even the desire to do what the medical community in that time and place had deemed best for a child with Down’s Syndrome.

    There’s much more to this, of course. David’s own grief at the loss of his sister is something he’s never confronted, never resolved. I don’t think this was unusual in that era. Grief counselors, after all, are relatively new. I remember stories, growing up, of adults in my town who had suffered terrible losses. There was a kind of silence around such people. Everyone knew their history, and the imprint of the loss was visible in the unfolding of their lives, but no one ever mentioned the person who had died.

    So it was with David. His way of coping with the loss of his sister, and with the greater loss of his family that resulted, was to try to move on; to take control of his life and to push forward; to become a success in the eyes of the world. Yet even so, his grief was never far below the surface, and when Phoebe was born with Down’s Syndrome, an event he could not anticipate or control, his old grief welled up. David’s response in that moment is as much to the past as to the present, but it takes him decades, and a trip back to the place where he grew up, to understand this.

    The novel begins in 1964. Do you think our attitudes toward people with disabilities have changed since then? Are we more enlightened or accepting now?

    Yes, things have changed for the better over the past decades, but I’d say also that it’s an ongoing process, with much more progress yet to be made.

    Certainly, writing this novel was a process of enlightenment for me. When I began this book, I didn’t know how to imagine Phoebe. I was compelled by the secret and its impact on the family, but I wasn’t very knowledgeable about Down’s Syndrome. To create a convincing character, one who was herself and not a stereotype, without being either sentimental or patronizing, seemed a daunting task.

    I started reading and researching. Also, tentatively, I started having conversations. The first couple I spoke with has a daughter whom they’d raised during the time period of this book. They were a terrific help, candid and straightforward and wise. When I showed them the opening chapter, their immediate response was that I’d gotten the doctor exactly right: the attitudes David has about Down’s Syndrome may seem outrageous to us now, but there was a time, not all that long ago, when these ideas were widely held.

    The reason attitudes have changed, quite simply, is because the parents of children with Down’s Syndrome refused, as Caroline does in this novel, to accept imposed limitations for their children. The fight that Caroline fights during this book is emblematic of struggles that took place all over the country during this era to change prevailing attitudes and to open doors that had been slammed shut.

    The changes did not and do not happen easily, or without personal costs for those who struggled—and struggle still—to make their children visible to the world. Time and again as I researched this book I heard stories of both heartbreak and great courage. Time and again, also, I was impressed with the expansive generosity of people with Down’s Syndrome and their families, who met with me, shared their life journeys and perceptions, their joys and struggles, and were eager to help me learn. Many of them have read the book and loved it, which for me is a profound measure of its success.

    Your use of photography as a metaphor throughout the book is artfully done. Do you have a personal interest in photography, or did you educate yourself about it as part of the writing process?

    I’m not a photographer, but for several years in college I was very good friends with people who were, some of whom, in fact, had darkrooms set up in their houses. Photography was woven into many of our conversations, and I sometimes went with my friends when they were seeking particular shots. I wasn’t at all interested in the mechanics—apertures and f-stops left me cold—but I was always fascinated by the photographs appearing in the developer, what was invisible coaxed into image by the chemical bath. It’s a slow emergence, a kind of birth, really; a moment of mystery. I was intrigued by the use of light, as well, the way too much light will erase an image on both film and paper.

    I also remember being annoyed, more than once, when my friends’ need to get a photo right interfered with the moment the photo was meant to capture: at a family reunion, for instance, or a birthday party. How did the presence of the photographer change the nature of the moment? What was gained and what was lost by having the eye of the camera present?

    During the very early stages of writing this novel, I read a New Yorker essay about the photographer Walker Evans that discussed many of these questions quite eloquently, reminding me of my photographer friends. Norah gave David a camera, and from there I started doing quite a lot of research. Amid many other explorations, I spent time at Eastman Kodak Museum in Rochester and read Susan Sontag’s fascinating and inspiring On Photography. The city of Pittsburgh figures quite prominently in the story and is described in very affectionate terms. (“The city of Pittsburgh gleaming suddenly before her . . . so startling in its vastness and its beauty that she had gasped and slowed, afraid of losing control of the car” p. 91.) This is not a city that usually captures the imagination nor has it been a common setting for novels. Would you talk a bit about why you chose Pittsburgh and your personal connection, if any, to it?

    I moved to Pittsburgh sight unseen—my husband and I were teaching in Cambodia when he was accepted into a Ph.D. program at The University of Pittsburgh. This was before e-mail; there were no telephones in Phnom Penh, and even electricity was often sporadic. With no clear image of Pittsburgh, we agreed to move there, visions of steel smoke and gritty industrialism hanging like a shadow when he sent in his acceptance.

    Caroline’s experience crossing the Fort Pitt bridge is my own. It’s a spectacular moment: one emerges from the endless Fort Pitt tunnel onto a bridge spanning the Monogahela River, just before it merges with the Allegheny River and forms the Ohio River. Water gleams everywhere, and the buildings of the city narrow to the point between the rivers, and in the middle distance the greening hills rise up, studded with houses. The director of the MFA program at the University of Pittsburgh once confided to me how much he liked to drive visitors in from the airport, because they were invariably astonished by this view.

    I spent four years in Pittsburgh and would have happily stayed there had circumstances allowed. It’s a fascinating city, rich with history and parks. It’s wonderful city for walking, too, with beautiful old neighborhoods and places where you find yourself suddenly standing on a bluff again, gazing out over the ever-changing rivers.

    The Memory Keeper’s Daughter, while ultimately redemptive and hopeful, reveals much of the dark side of the human experience. Actors often talk about how working on a very painful role can affect their psyche; others speak of being able simply to let it go and not have the work affect their daily lives. As a writer, how does working on such a heart-wrenching story affect your own state of mind? When you stop writing, are you able to let it go?
    Well, they all struggle, don’t they? They walk through a lot darkness. Yet I never found writing this book painful. In part, I think, I identified with all the characters in this book: the one who keeps a secret and the one from whom secrets have been kept; the parent who longs for a child and the child who longs for harmony and wholeness; the wanderer and the one who stays in place. I recognized their journeys of self-discovery, in any case. I was interested in them, and I wanted to know what happened to them, and who they were. The only way to discover all that was to write the book. Also, because the novel is told through four different points of view, moving from one character’s mind to another, I was able step back from one point of view and work on another whenever I was stuck. This was very liberating, and allowed me to attain a certain level of detachment from one character while working on another.

    As an award-winning short story writer, you are best known for your critically acclaimed collection The Secrets of a Fire King. Would you talk a bit about how you came to write a novel, and the difference between working on a novel and a short story?
    When my story collection was published, several reviewers remarked that each one contained the scope of a novel. That interested me, because the stories always felt like stories; I couldn’t imagine them being a word longer then they were. Likewise, The Memory Keeper’s Daughter was a novel from the moment I started writing. Yet despite the difference in complexity and length, writing a novel was very much like writing stories. There’s a bigger canvas in a novel, and thus more room to explore, but it’s still a process of discovery, a leap into the unknown, and an intuitive seeking of the next moment, and the next. For me, writing is never linear, though I do believe quite ardently in revision. I think of revision as a kind of archeology, a deep exploration of the text to discover what’s still hidden and bring it to the surface.

    Who are some of your favorite authors, and what are you currently reading?
    I read a great deal. Alice Munro and William Trevor are authors whose work I return to again and again. I have just finished Marilynne Robinson’s Gilead and I will read it again soon simply to savor the beauty of the language. New books by both Ursula Hegi and Sue Monk Kidd are on my desk, along with the poems of Pablo Neruda. During the writing of The Memory Keeper’s Daughter I returned to classic novels with secrets at their center, especially Dostoevsky’s extraordinary Crime and Punishment and Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter. I’m also midway through Thomas Mann’s quartet of novels based on the story of Joseph and his brothers; these archetypal stories are informing the next novel I plan to write, as well.

    What are you working on now?
    I have begun a new novel, called The Dream Master (avoid it at all cost for the love of God). It’s set in the Finger Lakes area of upstate New York where I grew up, which is stunningly beautiful, and which remains in some real sense the landscape of my imagination. Like The Memory Keeper’s Daughter, this new novel turns on the idea of a secret—that seems to be my preoccupation as a writer—though in this case the event occurred in the past and is a secret from the reader as well as from the characters, so structurally, and in its thematic concerns, the next book is an entirely new discovery.

    Reply
  9. Clare Post author

    Loo Ney, congratulations on making it through 300 pages. You are a strong-willed reader.

    There’s a funny quote in the interview you posted, in which Edwards is talking about her next novel: “… in this case the event occurred in the past and is a secret from the reader as well as from the characters…”

    Hey, good idea, maybe that’s a more interesting way of treating a secret, by having it be, you know, SECRET.

    Better luck with your next reading choice!

    Reply
  10. fiona

    hey

    i agree. i hated this book. im only 15 and i had to read it for school and then analyse it. usually i can read a book like this in 2-3 days but this book took me the whole holidays.. two weeks. my english teacher loved the book though so i couldnt even say i didnt like it in my analysis. it was torture!!!!!! im glad im not the only one who thought it was bad

    Reply
  11. Loo Ney

    Fiona, I’m sorry your teacher is such a drip. Belive me, it’s not you. It’s the book. You were smart though to trust your instinct and not mention how you hated the book. Teachers def. mark based on their own opinions and beliefs rather than what deserves a good mark, not all, but some are very very biased.

    Reply
  12. Roxane

    I thought the book was quite excellent, as I read the ENTIRE thing. I do agree that the beginning of the book is quite dull, but if you continue reading the book is amazing. You are entitled to your opinion, however before you judge something look beneath the cover. Dont just read the beginning, read the whole thing.I am quite sure that if you were to read the entire book you would feel differently. I read the book for a literary project in my high school junior American Lit. class, which i am currently working on a presentation to share with the class. There were five of us who read the entire book and we all loved it. You need to expand you mind and give every book a chance, some authors can hook you faster than others. The book truely is one you must read ENTIRELY to enjoy.

    Reply
    1. Lexi R

      I was given a list of 40+ books such as Dracula, Frankenstein, A Prayer for Owen Meany, A Gathering of Old Men, The Color Purple, East of Eden, The Great Gatsby, Pride and Prejudice, Great Expectations, 1984, etc. I chose The Memory Keeper’s Daughter and I finished the entire book in 3 days. While I am only 16 and in 10th grade, I do have a decent prior knowledge of other literature and other genres. To anyone who dares to say anything poor about The Memory Keeper’s Daughter without even READING THE BOOK, then clearly they must go and re-evaluate themselves. You have to know what you’re talking about before you can go making false assumptions. I read the novel and analyzed it for class, so I could prepare for the AP tests that I am due to take next year. Maybe instead of reading pages and pages of hate for a book that has clearly proved itself worthy, you should pick up the dang book instead and quit being such a close minded person.

      Reply
  13. Clare Post author

    Roxane, it’s so strange to me that you read this book for a class. Did you have a choice of recent novels, or was it assigned? What were some other books you read for the class? I hated everything I read in high school, even books that love now and have reread many times. Maybe I would like MKD if I read it all the way through, but that’s never going to happen. I read a lot and there’s too many truly great books that I’ve never read – ‘A Farewell to Arms’ and ‘Anna Karenina’ spring to mind – for me to waste time reading something I don’t enjoy.

    What exactly did you like about the book? Did you think the story was interesting, or that the characters were likeable and realistic? I’m a narrative junkie; I like an interesting plot and reading to see what happens next. MKD is exactly the wrong kind of book for me because I knew how the story would end when I started, which takes most of the fun out of reading.

    btw – I love your name. I seriously considered naming my daughter Roxane.

    Reply
    1. Megan

      For AP English, typically a senior high school course, there is a list of books that you can write about for the essay portion of the exam. The Memory Keeper’s Daughter is on there. I just read it for this class, for my semester final. That’s probably one main reason why schools are having students read it. And I actually loved it too, like Roxane. I really love children, and the story of Phoebe’s life was really touching to me. It kept my interest the whole way through. I finished it within a couple of days, inbetween all my other schoolwork.

      Reply
  14. Loo Ney

    I certainly think that 300+ pages was enough to give this book a chance. At some point you have to stop torturing yourself.

    And I agree with Clare; what EXACTLY did you so like about this book. I would love to hear details from anybody on EXACTLY what was in this book that made you “LOVE IT” so much 😉

    Thanks for this great forum, getting if off my chest felt so good 😉

    Reply
  15. Anon

    I had to read this book for an ISU and I read every single page of it. For the first week of reading, I literally fell asleep after reading about 5-10 pages each day. Honestly this book was SOOOOOOOO DAMN BORING. You were on the dot about the writing style and the one-dimensional characters. The only part when I actually felt something was when the author was describing Norah stripping on the beach.

    I totally agree with your opinion and ideas of the book and I believe every person who had to suffer and read this book should get their money back.

    Reply
  16. Cristy

    I was supposed to read all 401 pages of the book for class. I read this book up to page 180, because it was SOOOOO DAMN BORING and seemed to drag on. I ended up reading the last 20 pages of the book, and then reading summaries about the rest of it online. Now, come on. Does the author really need to explain the details of the snow in 3 pages?! This is EACTLY why I got sooo bored by this book. Descriptions, descriptions, descriptions. Thats all this book was to me. There were no exciting points in the story at all that made me want to keep reading on. I wasted 15$ on this stupid book.

    Reply
  17. anon

    I just read this book this summer and I am in the minority of people who loved the book. I thought it was well-written and I like the way the story unfolded. The thing that stood out for me in the book is that life experiences can change your core. Everyone has had their own tragic experiences in their life – some more tragic than others. We all react differently to these negative experiences and they change us for the rest of our life. I know that some people hated the book because of what the doctor did. I do not condone some of the choices that the characters made. The relationship the doctor had with his sister never left him and followed him for the rest of his life. Unfortunately, it ended up affecting his family. We all make subconscious or even conscious choices on our life based on our experiences. I guess that’s why I liked it.

    Reply
  18. jarett marasco

    no one actually liked this book. it was awful. if anything u just managed to convince urself u liked it. either that or ur lieing just to make it seem like u didnt completely waste ur time reading it. why do schools always pick the worst possible book u could find to read. do they do it on purpose? because honestly speaking theyve ruined me for all books now. because of their awful book selection i am uncapable to read a full book simply because i am reminded of the “dullness” of ones like this. and i know im not alone on this….

    Reply
    1. Megan

      Thank you very much, but I loved this book. And I didn’t convince myself that I liked it. I just did. And schools don’t always pick “boring” books. Stop being so critical. Actually try and pay attention to the book. They pick them for a reason. Many reasons that you’ll discover through AP English.

      Reply
      1. Clare

        Thanks for your comment. Glad you enjoyed the book – I was wondering if it would stand the test of time or was only popular because of brief bestsellerdom.

        I got a 5 on my AP English test and credit for 2 college classes, and read many books that I enjoy every year, many of which were originally published in different centuries or different languages. I feel perfectly qualified to express a personal opinion on a book, especially one that bores me.

    2. Chad Greenway

      I agree with you man. I was in both AP Math and AP Sciences and taking University English right now. When we read this book it was just awful and wasted a good 2 weeks of my life working on projects and essays on this book. Come to think of it I never read a good school book. They may have good underlying messages but why are they so lame and dull. According to others It’s like the authors can’t make a good book without being boring. I enjoy reading interesting books but Memory Keepers Daughter is just awful.

      Reply
  19. achoogirl

    Something about this book deeply irked me. You are right on point. I rarely find a book I can not finish. The narrative was so completely irritating I couldn’t finish it, I kind of threw it down in disgust.

    Reply
  20. amy

    The only thing that kept me reading was wanting to see Norah find out about her daughter. Then the author totally jilted us out of even that one thing by making it completely anti-climatic. It made me so mad, I actually found this blog by Googling “Hated Memory Keeper’s Daughter.”

    Reply
  21. Grace

    Thank you for your insightful and entertaining review. I have been reading/suffering through the book for my book club. The whole time I’ve spent reading it I keep asking myself: Why do such substandard books get such glowing reviews? Not only is it a big let down, it also-almost-makes me doubt my own ability to recognize greatness when I read it. It also makes me dread going to book club and, if I’m honest, say the book was total dreck and offend those who loved it, though I always try to find at least one good thing to say about a book. All I can say about this one, though, is that I liked the cover- which just goes to show-you can’t judge a book….well, you know the rest.
    I will definitely check your blog for further reviews. Thanks!

    Reply
  22. Lexi R

    I was given a list of 40+ books such as Dracula, Frankenstein, A Prayer for Owen Meany, A Gathering of Old Men, The Color Purple, East of Eden, The Great Gatsby, Pride and Prejudice, Great Expectations, 1984, etc. I chose The Memory Keeper’s Daughter and I finished the entire book in 3 days. While I am only 16 and in 10th grade, I do have a decent prior knowledge of other literature and other genres. To anyone who dares to say anything poor about The Memory Keeper’s Daughter without even READING THE BOOK, then clearly they must go and re-evaluate themselves. You have to know what you’re talking about before you can go making false assumptions. I read the novel and analyzed it for class, so I could prepare for the AP tests that I am due to take next year. Maybe instead of reading pages and pages of hate for a book that has clearly proved itself worthy, you should pick up the dang book instead and quit being such a closed minded person.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s