Saturday, December 16, 2006

The Memory Keeper's Daughter, by Kim Edwards

The Memory Keeper's Daughter
Kim Edwards

In case you haven't heard of this book, authors like Sue Monk Kidd and Jodi Picoult have praised The Memory Keeper's Daughter for being just breathtaking. A masterpiece. Genius. (Sidenote: it really irks me how often the term "genius" is applied from everyone to Lindsay Lohan to a mediocre writer. Einstein was a genius, people. Beethoven. Not some second-rate director who brought us a barely watchable film. Ok. Sorry.)

But it seems that ass-kissing, which is all the rage in Hollywood, has found its way to the world of books as well. I shouldn't be surprised. I'm sure it's always been this way. But when I've been duped by it, I get angry.

A brief overview of the maddening plot: It's the 1960s. There's a snowstorm. A doctor's wife goes into labor. Alone, with only a nurse to aid him, he must perform the delivery.

Surprise! It's twins.

Crap. One has Down's Syndrome.

So he tells the nurse to take the "bad" baby to an institution WHILE TELLING HIS WIFE SHE DIED. I, although not a violent person, would stab my husband if he were to do this to me. Thus begins the rather predictable soap opera that is The Memory Keeper's Daughter. Without the stabbing, of course.

The Memory Keeper's Daughter isn't the worst thing I've ever read, but it was far from the best. The prose is simplistic (and filled with a number of grammatical errors), the plot predictable, and the style emblematic of the soullessness that only a certain creative-writing program can give. (And I'm not knocking MFAs, but it seems that a lot of writers who come from certain programs all seem to write in the same, dead way, as though they are automatons practicing good writing from the same, overused handout used for the tenth year in a row by the same, tired teacher who'd rather not be teaching these pretentious students. And, if The Memory Keeper's Daughter is any indication, what they are not doing in these classes is practicing the proper use of commas.)

I know I am generalizing. I'm feeling bitter.

So, if you're looking for a fast read that isn't terribly interesting, this is the book for you.

In a nutshell: The Memory Keeper's Daughter is predictable in many places. The writing style is not "genius." But it does help you realize that commas are our friends.

Bibliolatry Scale: 1.5 out of 6 stars

1 comment:

Kristin Dodge said...

I agree with the other poster who said that you are hilarious when you dislike a book.

Read more crap! It's hysterical!