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Memory Keeper’s Daughter ? 2

January 8, 2007

When David instructs Caroline to take Phoebe to the institution, Caroline could have flatly refused or she could have gone to the authorities. Why doesn’t she? Was she right to do what she did and raise Phoebe as her own? Was Caroline morally obligated to tell Norah the truth right from the beginning? Or, was her moral obligation simply to take care of Phoebe at whatever cost? Why does she come to Norah after David’s death?

10 Comments leave one →
  1. Tara permalink
    January 8, 2007 2:56 pm

    Possibly Caroline went with David’s instructions simply because she thought she was in love with him and/or she was too stunned to disagree. Once she found out David told Norah Phoebe had died, she thought it too late to bring her back.
    I read the book last week and then returned it to the library, so I am already forgetting parts of the story. That’s what happens when numerous books are read per week!
    I was surprised that I did not like this book more. It had been suggested to me by numerous people and I assumed I was going to love it. I only liked it and kept reading just to find out if Norah ever found out about Phoebe.
    I did feel sorry for David many times throughout the book but certainly think his choice was very wrong.

  2. January 8, 2007 5:17 pm

    I always wondered how it wasn’t questioned more with her raising a daughter – with all the legalities we have to go through to adopt – Wow – I thought that was so “iffy” that no one ever challenged her on that. It was the “heart” thing to do – maybe not the “head” thing!! Yes – and I suppose after David dies it is “safe” to go and tell the whole story.

  3. January 8, 2007 5:23 pm

    I got the feeling that Caroline held on to Phoebe because of her feelings for David. Although, I don’t doubt that she grew to love Phoebe. Ultimately I can’t believe she never told Norah about the child. She became an accomplice to David’s great lie. It’s sad because no one gave Norah and option of whether she could handle caring/raising for this child or not.

  4. January 8, 2007 5:32 pm

    I keep seeing this book pop up on people’s best books list (I am hoping they didn’t read too many books this year?). I don’t get it. Maybe david and norah’s backgrounds and characters were not fleshed out enough. I find it odd that none of the characters have any family or friends except for bree.
    back to the question:
    I am hoping she did it for moral reasons. I was going to say exactly what iliana said. she did it for love, almost like a token to remember david, and secretly hoping he would find her (and make a happy family?).
    totally off topic: I recently read Little children (the one the movie is based on) and thought it was a more titillating view of how marriages ebb and flow (though I certainly never met any hot men at the playground and then had sex with them on my living room floor while our children napped). Its a very quick read.

  5. Wendy permalink
    January 8, 2007 5:54 pm

    Caroline definitely played a part in the life of David’s lie. However, she was also portrayed as a very loving, hardworking, dedicated mother to Phoebe. Perhaps she felt that she was protecting her daughter from a father who did not want her. Once David died, perhaps she felt that Norah had a right to know the truth. The author did not really explore this within the character of Caroline.

  6. Nicole permalink
    January 8, 2007 7:03 pm

    I think she started out going along with it because she loved David, but after going to the institution and not leaving the baby there, she kept her out of concern for the baby. However, as a woman, I’m disappointed that she wouldn’t feel obligated to tell Norah about the baby earlier. It took her how many years?

    I also think Caroline kept the baby because she thought this was what she had been waiting for her whole life. I think she alludes to that a few times when she is struggling with making the decision.

  7. January 8, 2007 10:00 pm

    I felt like Caroline kept the baby for the link to David, but I don’t think there is any justification for her actions at all. She could have turned him down from the get go, but she went along with the whole thing. I know we’re talking about a work of fiction here, but I just couldn’t reconcile the fact that she went along with the deception.

  8. January 8, 2007 10:33 pm

    It’s amazing what women do for the love of a man. But I think after a couple days it would have worn off! I just babysat my 15-month-old nephew for part of a morning and I was so ready to hand him back to his parents. I couldn’t have gone long just for love of the baby’s father.

  9. January 8, 2007 11:21 pm

    It also seemed to me that Caroline was looking for a way to alleviate some of the loneliness in her life by keeping Phoebe. But again, there was so little character development that that’s just another guess on my part.

  10. January 9, 2007 1:49 am

    I think it’s because she thought she loved David and this could bring her closer and I also think she was just so terribly lonely. It seemed that she had intentions of going to the authorities or telling Norah, but things sort of got out of control and then she couldn’t. I also wish that I had liked the book more and I think I didn’t because there was not enough character development in general – I wanted to feel more sorry for these people than I did and I think part of the reason is that I didn’t know them well enough. One thing that did really bother me is how Norah just always took David’s word for things around the birth – I understand it was a different time, but it wasn’t THAT long ago and I just would have asked a lot more questions.

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