Kim Edwards’ The Memory Keeper’s Daughter


The Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards | LibraryThing

Edwards, K. (2005). The memory keeper’s daughter. New York: Viking. 9780786571031

Reasons for Reading : One of my friends asked me to read The Memory Keeper’s Daughter. (Check out its entry on my TBR list.) Initially, I checked it out from HCPL. Then, I found I could check it out in eBook format from Houston Public Library.  I did this so I could read it on my Nook during my vacation.

Summary: Due to a blizzard in 1964 Kentucky, Dr. David Henry delivers his own twins. First, David delivers a healthy son, Paul. After delivering his daughter, Phoebe, David sees that she has Down Syndrome. Wanting to spare his wife, Norah, heartache, David asks his loyal nurse, Caroline Gill, to secretly institutionalize his daughter. Caroline, though, leaves Kentucky with the baby girl and raises her as her own daughter.  This split second decision changes the lives of David, Norah, Caroline, and their children.

What I Liked: The language of the narrative is lovely. Also, I felt David’s motives were well-explained by the author. He seemed earnest and loving. Norah’s relationship with her sister, Bree. I truly admired Caroline for her love and heroism. It was a relief to me that Caroline created a family of friends for her daughter, Phoebe. Lastly, I found the photography motif beautiful.

What I Disliked: Towards the end of the book, I wondered if Edwards just didn’t know what to do with it. She added in some characters in the eleventh hour to help resolve conflicts. Throughout the book, I wanted to throttle the good doctor and say “Tell your wife that your daughter lives!”

Three Out of Five Pearls

Song: Kentucky Rain-Lyrics-Elvis Presley – YouTube

Setting : Kentucky, Pittsburgh, Aruba, France

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Sarah Dessen’s What Happened to Goodbye


What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen | LibraryThing

Dessen, S. (2011). What happened to goodbye. New York: Viking. 9780670012947

I began reading Sarah Dessen books after seeing How to Deal. I like Dessen’s community of Lakeview and enjoy discovering the Easter eggs throughout her novels. What Happened to Goodbye is Dessen’s latest novel, the previous one having come out in 2009. I requested the book from Houston Public Library.

For the last couple of years, Mclean Sweet and her restaurant manager dad have moved four times. In each place, Mclean acts differently – a bubbly cheerleader in one place, a drama queen in the next town, and student council rep in the last. Mostly, she doesn’t want to make a new connection after her parents’ nasty divorce. However, in Lakeview, Mclean can’t seem to escape herself. She might actually have to face the music this time.

This book wasn’t my favorite Dessen work. It even had that Jason Talbot in it! However, I appreciated that Mclean seemed to bring together people. I wasn’t crazy about Dave, the main guy in this book, but I thought Opal and even Jason were cool. I couldn’t stand Mclean’s mom, Katie/Katherine, but sort of came around to her.

Three Out of Five Pearls

Song: YouTube – Coldplay – In My Place

Places : North Carolina, Florida, Hawaii

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Charles Webb’s The Graduate


The Graduate by Charles Webb | LibraryThing

* A 1001 Books Book

Webb, C. R., Brick, S., & Blackstone Audio (Firm). (2008). The graduate. Ashland, Or.: Blackstone Audio. 1433255456

The movie has pervaded American culture since its debut in 1967. Growing up in the 1990s, I remember listening to Simon and Garfunkel sing about Mrs. Robinson because my dad chose what music we listened to when we were driving. Like many other great movies, The Graduate was based on a book. Seeing that Houston Public Library owned the audiobook version, I requested it and was soon listening to this bildungsroman.

Brilliant but disillusioned Benjamin Braddock just graduated from some nice institution in New England and has returned home to Southern California. He’s discontented, unhappy, listless, seemingly aimless, not to mention whiny. His parents’ prodding just exacerbates the issue. Then, the wife of his father’s business partner, Mrs. Robinson, begins pressuring him into an adulterous affair. With nothing “better” to do, Benjamin finds himself meeting Mrs. Robinson in a hotel room. This is all fine and dandy until the Robinsons’ lovely daughter, Elaine comes home for a student holiday from Berkeley. Cuckolded Mr. Robinson urges Benjamin to date Elaine while Mrs. Robinson has other ideas. Then, Benjamin suddenly has something. . . rather someone, to live for beyond postgrad.

Once I recovered from my initial dislike of the petulant Benjamin, I enjoyed this morality play. Throughout most of it, I was purely disgusted by Mrs. Robinson and aggravated with the others “over thirty.” It amused me that the only characters with first names were the kiddos. . . just like school. I’d recommend this dark comedy to the mature reader.

Four Out of Five Pearls

Song: “Mrs. Robinson” by Simon and Garfunkel

Places : The East Coast, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Santa Barbara

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Books on the Bayou 2010


The Houston Public Library (HPL) welcomes readers in the Greater Houston area to join in on the Books on the Bayou 2010. This year’s pick is Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis. For more details, please visit the HPL site.