can anyoe tell me the ending of the memopry keepers daughter?(9 Posts)
dont ahve time to read thius before my book club meeting and have got about half way through ( both chidren aged 13 approx ) but will struggle a bit with meeting without an idea of outcome . can you help? i normally do finsih my books btw- just mucked up timings with unexpected work committments this week !
In 1964, during an unusual Kentucky blizzard, Dr. David Henry is forced to deliver his and his wife Norah's first child, with the help of a nurse; Caroline Gill. Their first child, a boy they name Paul, is born, a visibly perfect child, but it then becomes apparent that Norah is giving birth to twins. When the second baby, a girl, is born; David notices immediately she is a mongoloid (a name given at the time for people with Down syndrome). David, recalling the possibility of heart complications and thinking of his sister, June, who died young due to a heart defect; decides that Phoebe will be placed in an institution to spare Norah the suffering June's death caused his own mother. Caroline, the nursewho has been in love with David since the moment she met himis charged with the task of carrying the infant to the institution. After assessing the wretched conditions of the place, however, she decides to keep and raise the baby herself. Rememering Norah's mention of the names she had chosen for her baby, both for a boy and a girl, Caroline names the baby Phoebe. While Caroline is at the store buying baby supplies, her car battery dies and she is stranded in the snow with Phoebe. She is picked up by a truck driver, Albert "Al" Simpson; who lets her shelter with Phoebe in his truck before driving them to Caroline's home in Lexington, and eventually staying there for the night. Meanwhile, David lies to Norah and tells her that their daughter died at birth; leaving his passive wife plagued by post-natal depression as those around her refuse to let her talk about the daughter she lost, treating her as if she should be satisfied with Paul and forget about Phoebe's 'death'. She decides to hold a memorial for Phoebe, and place an announcement in the paper without David's knowledgeastonished, Caroline seeks David out after reading it, and after hearing that she had kept the baby rather than take her to the institution, he bids her to do what she thinks is right. Caroline refuses the money he offers her, and leaves for Pittsburgh to make fresh start therewith Phoebe.
The 'death' of their daughter has caused a distance between David and Norah, even after they move to a new home, as they now find it difficult to connect with one another. Norah wants another child, but David says no; telling Norah that to have another child would be her way of replacing Phoebe. David thinks a lot about his childhood- the struggles with poverty (he had to catch snakes to pay his way through high school), his younger sister June and her death at the age of twelve, and his parents. Norah is drinking too much, but stops after crashing her car on the night of her and David's anniversary. Norah buys David a camera as an anniversary gift, which rapidly becomes an obsession for him.
Caroline is in Pittsburgh and is hired by a widow named Dorothy "Doro" March, to work as a private nurse for her father, Leo; an oft disagreeable elderly physicist, whose brilliant mind is slowly failing him. Caroline and Phoebe live with Doro and Leo, with Caroline working for room and board. Caroline claims that Phoebe is her daughter, and cares for her as such; staying up all night with Phoebe in a steamy bathroom to relieve her croup. Doro notices Phoebe's slow development, and Caroline tells her that Phobe has Down Syndrome; claiming she ran away from Phoebe's father as he wanted to put Phoebe in an institution: a half-truth. Caroline sends letters and pictures of Phoebe to David. David sends money to Caroline through a PO Box address, and then makes a half-hearted attempt to find out where Caroline and Phoebe live. Al, the truck driver who assisted Caroline on the night of Paul and Phoebe's birth, discovers their whereabouts and begins visiting regularly.
The distance between the Henry's has grown even further. David, now is an aspiring photographer with his own darkroom, where he keeps Phoebe's pictures and Caroline's letters hidden; retreats further into himself, immersing himself in his work - whilst Norah, still drinking secretly, is overprotective of Paul and has taken to throwing herself into time-consuming projects and activities to distract herself and fill up her days, applying for a job with a travel agent in an attempt to build a life of her own. Paul, however, is oblivious to this - a happy six-year-old, doing well at school, seeming to have an aptitude for music and singing, and well other than a severe allergy to bees and a broken arm which he sustains falling out of a tree.
In Pittsburgh, contrary to the prediction David made at her birth, Phoebe is growing up a healthy child- she loves butterflies and singing, and attends preschool. Caroline and a group of other women - the Upside Down Society - are petitioning to let their children go to public school. Leo March has died, but Doro - used to Caroline and Phoebe's company - asks her to remain living with them. Al still visits Caroline regularly, and has twice proposed to her - however, she has turned him down both times, doubting not his love for her but his love for Phoebe. Each time he visits, he brings small gifts for her or Phoebe, and her letters - containing money - from David Henry. While playing, Phoebe is stung be a bee, and Phoebe also turns out to be allergic. Al helps get Phoebe to a hospital, and steps in when a nurse's comment about Phoebe's condition makes Caroline see red. At this, Caroline realizes that he really does love Phoebe. Al asks her to marry him for a third time, and she accepts.
Paul and Phoebe are now aged thirteen, and Caroline and Al have been married for five years. Phoebe has been confirmed; and Doro has retired to leave on a year-long cruise with her lover, named Trace. Over the years, Caroline has saved the money David Henry has sent her and kept it in trust for Phoebe. David sends Caroline a letter, asking her to let him meet Phoebe and to let Phoebe know her twin brother, Paul. Phoebe disappears briefly, panicking Caroline, who finds her rescuing a kitten from a water drainage pipe. Caroline decides not to contact David again, worried that David might unknowingly hurt Phoebe (as he hurt her, by not noticing or ignoring her love for him) and feeling that he wants too much from her, too late.
Paul is becoming an accomplished musician, playing the guitar and the piano and dreaming of attending Juilliard, while also behaving like a daredevil teenager - experimenting with cannabis and walking on rail tracks. David and Norah, now living almost separate lives, have differing views on what Paul should do when he's older - Norah simply wants her son to be happy, while David pushes for his son to take an interest in basketball and to follow a career path that will guarantee him stability, money and success. Norah Henry is excelling in her work at the travel agency, though she is still frustrated by the distance between her and David, and his apparent lack of love for or interest in her. While on vacation, in Aruba, she has an affair with Howard, a divorcee. Both David and Paul realize what she has done, but neither of them talk about it. David blames the affair on himself, and continues to spend more and more time in his darkroom with his photographs.
Phoebe and Paul are now both 18.
David has an arts show in Pittsburgh. Caroline turns up and shows him pictures of Phoebe. He has to stop the conversation briefly to answer an art critic. When he's speaking to the critic Caroline leaves. David is devastated and goes to his parents' abandoned house, where he finds Rosemary, a pregnant 16-year-old, who is squatting in the house. He tells Rosemary his secret. He asks her to come and live with him. Paul and Norah can't believe the way he's behaving. Paul runs away for a couple of days. Paul has been accepted at Juilliard.
Rosemary and her son Jack move back to live with her family. Norah and David are now divorced and Norah is dating. Paul is traveling and studying music in France. David dies of a heart attack. When Norah sorts through David's photographs she understands David in a way she never did when he was alive.
Phoebe is in love with Robert, also an individual with Down syndrome, and wants to get married and live in a group home with more independence. Caroline worries about the future and is scared about letting Phoebe live her own life. When Caroline hears of David's death she goes and finds Norah and tells her the truth. Norah and Paul meet Phoebe for the first time. Phoebe and Paul both attend their mother's wedding. Paul takes Phoebe to their father's grave.
I can tell you NOT to bother with the film. Glad it was only £5.99!
My critical review - it's shit.
I could work for Empire magazine.
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