5.27.2008

The Memory Keepers Daughter ** Spoiler Alert**

I've always loved to read. Since I was little. Until having kids I used to go through at least a book a week. Reading to me, was a great way to escape my own little reality for a while, and jump into something else. It was my way of having at least one happy ending a week. While I haven't gotten to read near as much since having kids, I have made an effort to keep reading as much as possible. When picking books I research them. I read reviews, I think on it, and of course, I look at the cover (duh). I would have to say, this is the first book I've been utterly disappointed in.

I really don't know how to describe it. The book was well written, it was a page turner, but, it was bad. The background of the story is, in 1964 a doctor delivers his twins. One is born mentally retarded and one is normal. He gives away the mentally retarded one and tells his wife the baby died. The remainder of the book, is basically the demise of the husband and wives relationship as she copes with the loss of her daughter and he copes with the magnitude of his lie. It is obvious that at some point the wife will find out he lied. That is where my disappointment lies. It took to long to find out. One major even happens before she finds out, and I feel as though, the author took to long. However, it is apparent that had the author not dragged out the reveal of the secret there would be no book.

My biggest beef of all, is the entire book is depressing. Even when the secret is revealed, it is depressing, when the mom and baby reunite, it is depressing, there is an air of sadness, there is no joyous moment, no time where I wanted to leap with joy. Even down to the last words I found the book depressing. I don't want to reveal all the events, or the ending, I'll just say I was sad the whole book. That is normally fine. Being sad is usually fine, because the author usually leaves you with some kind of overly happy ending, that you are left smiling through the tears. You are left knowing all the sadness was worth it. While this book is a page turner, I only turned the pages hoping that I would be uplifted soon. Waiting for the bait, something to lure me back in and make me say, "see it's not all bad." But it was all bad. Bad, bad, sad, depressing!

I guess that when I'm trying to take a break from the terrible things in my own life, and my own depression I'd rather not read a book that brings me down further and leaves me down. I can't decide if I recommend this book or not. Like I said, it was very well written, the author obviously has a gift, I just wish I would have walked away feeling less like jumping off a cliff and more like jumping for joy.

16 comments:

Mandy said...

so I totally didn't read your post because it is clearly marked "spoiler alert" but I am gearing up to also read the memory keepers daughter after I finish "the almost moon" by Alice Sebold. I hear ya, with two kids it's rough to have a solid reading list! One that you may find interesting is "Smashed" by Koren Zalickas, it was comical and a must-read!

lucinda said...

didnt they make this book into a lifetime movie? i thought i just saw it not too long ago. maybe you should have watched the movie and cut all of the sadness down to about 2 hours, instead of days. i really hate it when books that look good turn out to be crappy. good luck in your next reading venture

Cheeziemommie said...

I read this book last year and I too was terribly torn being that it was well written but was totally a downer! I LOVE to read too, I read for just about everynight before I go to bed - usually only about 20 min or so before I crash but still! - and sometimes if I'm free during naptimes. I just finished Barbara Walters memoirs (VERY GOOD) and am getting ready to start on Rockabye. What'd you think of Julie Andrew's memoirs? And what are you reading next? I always have to take a day or 2 before I can start on another book. Sorry this comment is turning into a book LOL

Cheeziemommie said...

oh and it WAS made into a lifetime movie, but I missed it :( Dermot Mulroney (My Best Friend's Wedding) is in it and so is Gretchen Mol SO bummed I missed it!

Blogversary said...

I have found that since having kids I try to read books that are uplifting. Thanks for the warning.

Patty said...

Thanks for the heads up...I will be skipping this book.

Coffee Slut said...

This book WAS on my list ...thanks for the warning!

dramamama said...

I was not bothered by the depressing nature...I read dark fiction all the time, so am used to less than happy endings.

I agree that the book was well written, but my big problem with it was that most of the characters weren't very likable. I liked the nurse and the little girl, but the rest of the characters were annoying, hateful and ridiculously self-centered.

It is hard for me to get into a book (no matter how well written) with horrible characthers.

Misguided Mommy said...

Dramamama: I totally agree. I didn't like any of the characters really either. I like Pheobe, and that was about it, even the nurse was, I dunno, self absorbed.

Jeninacide said...

Yeah... I would only recommend this book if you want to read about reality. I think the book has a realistic outcome for the circumstances- but yeah DE-PRESSING.

I told you it would make you sad. But I am not going to say I told you so... ; )

The Coloradosnots said...

I read the book and I thought the same.. It could have been a really good book.. But honestly I thought nothing really happend.. all their issues with each other were torn appart over and over again.. and at the end I just thought.. jesus get over it.. It's def not a book I would recomment!

Heidi said...

I read a book about a week or so ago that was so depressing I wanted to kill myself, yet it was so bad (and so long) that I kept thinking someone would cure cancer or something y'know? Nope it ended like it started - sad. Bummer.

N said...

I'm so glad that you posted this... it's been one I've been considering.. I'm like you, I research before I get my books. I love a good cry when I read... but I can't stand being depressed the whole time. I loose myself in books, as an escape, so this wouldn't be a good one for me! :) Thanks again for posting!!

jodifur said...

I didn't like the memory keepers daughter at all. Ironically, I liked the movie better the book. I have no idea why I watched the tv of a book I didn't even like!

dramamama said...

Cheeziemommie: If you really want to see the movie, they are replaying it NEXT Wedesday at 9 PM...Just saw an ad for it...

Rachel said...

Yeah I have never been a reader. I just do not find myself getting lost in books that way-some but few. Maybe I am just impatient. Who knows but I am glad that you find such comfort in them -wel maybe not this one.

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