by Kim Edwards
I really enjoyed this book even though it was a bit unbelieavable and some of the characters were hard to care about. I mean, what father is going to give up one twin at birth because she has Down's syndrome? But since the whole book revolves around that one incident, you have to allow that it happened and read on. The author presented a number of plausible reasons why the father did that, and who knows, in that day and age, under conditions of stress and fatigue, with memories of the past and out of love and concern for his wife, and with the means available a father may have made that type of split second decision.
The impact David's decision had on his life, his marriage, his son (the other twin) and on the nurse who raised the twin with Down's syndrome was great. The book introduces us to a young couple (David and Norah), very much in love and expecting their first baby, and follows them through their lives to several years after the David's death. Some chapters focus on David, Norah and their son, Paul and others focus on the nurse, Caroline, and Phoebe, the twin who was given up.
It's heartbreaking to read about relationships that could possibly mend if those involved would just communicate with each other. In this story the secrets created such thick barriers that relationships and lives were greatly diminished. Each person interpreted the meaning for the barriers differently and each thought he was to blame. The message to me: people can deal with the truth, it's the lies and secrets that confuse, misdirect, and haunt us.