The Memory Keeper’s Daughter & The Story of Beautiful Girl

Book Pairing

The Memory Keeper's Daughter       The Story of Beautiful Girl

The feel of these two books is so similar, you would think that the characters from each book might have been friends or related—or that the latter is almost like a “fan fiction” version of the former.  Even though the plots are not necessarily the same (step by step), the situations are quite identical.  For instance, both novels start in the 60’s, where intellectually challenged people are considered a nuisance to society and better off not being born or living a secluded life in an institution.  In The Memory Keeper’s Daughter, a baby is delivered and diagnosed with down syndrome and the father decides he will give his daughter away so that his wife will not have to deal with the stress.  She is told by him, however, that the child didn’t make it.  A nurse ends up raising and caring for the girl, while the mother misses a daughter who didn’t even die.  In The Story of Beautiful Girl, a young woman and her deaf black partner escape from a special school to hide so that she is able to give birth without anyone knowing.  Since they both seem to have developmental problems, having a child would not be accepted in society.  They stumble across the house of a retired teacher, who is a widow and ends up having to keep the baby girl safe from harm, when the couple get found out.  The lovers are separated from each other and from the little girl, who grows up not knowing who her mother really is.  Both stories are told from the character’s points of view and they even kind of end the same way.  The fact is, if you liked one of these novels, you will most probably enjoy the other title too.

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2 Responses to The Memory Keeper’s Daughter & The Story of Beautiful Girl

  1. susanbright says:

    Interesting comparison. Our book club is meeting to discuss The Story of Beautiful Girl tomorrow and this be a nice addition to our discussion. We are also rating the book on our blog and would love you to vote! Thank you!

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