This novel surprised me.
I'm a bit fan of being manipulated by good writing to feel something anger, sadness, regret, etc. But the key is that the second I notice I am being manipulated, I become resentful and no longer really enjoy the book...
Edwards manages to manipulate you into feeling a wealth of emotions, but her writing is so good that you don't see the strings being pulled and that makes the novel's emotional wallop an even bigger gut punch.
I'm not ashamed to say I cried when I read this... or that I immediately looked Kim Edwards up on Amazon to see what else I could read by her.
The story, of twins separated at birth by a father hoping to spare his wife the trauma of raising a special needs child, is a powerful tale of love and family. Working with themes of regret, hard choices, and shocking family secrets, Edwards is a master of making each and every character not only believable but sympathetic.
In the end the story, in the hands of a lesser writer, could very easily have been trite and overly melodramatic... the sort of thing that you see on Lifetime at 3 am. However, Edwards manages to compel you to care and to keep reading even when it is almost painful to do so. The Memory Keeper's Daughter is a raw and powerful story... but not for the faint of heart.
Apparently there was a TV movie made in 2008... but as it isn't streaming on Netflix and costs 4 bucks on Amazon, I probably won't get around to watching / reviewing it.