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Archive for August 13th, 2010

Synopsis : This novel begins on a winter night in 1964, when a blizzard forces Dr. David Henry to deliver his own twins.
His son, born first, is perfectly healthy, but the doctor immediately recognizes that his daughter has Down syndrome. For motives he tells himself are good, he makes a split-second decision that will haunt all their lives forever. He asks his nurse, Caroline, to take the baby away to an institution. Instead, she disappears into another city to raise the child as her own.

What a lovely premise. I must confess, I was hooked just reading the synopsis. The story started off well enough and I was deeply engrossed in it for a while.

But halfway through, there began the first uneasy sensation that maybe what I was expecting/hoping, may not be fulfilled. That maybe, the end is not what it seems.

Once I completed the book, I had to put it down and reflect on where exactly it went wrong.  I still can’t put my finger on it.

[ Spoiler alert ]

First, we have a doctor, who, given his unhappy past, takes a decision which affects all their lives. He grieves his wisdom later on, but still, doesn’t confess or repent, or even make an attempt to undo the damage.

His wife, Norah, who earlier appeared to be a sensitive woman, suddenly turns into this most selfish person ever!! The only thing she is bothered about, are her own needs. Ok, so she didn’t know about the loss of her daughter, but she did have her son, right? What about him? She was no longer interested in her husband, but if she considered her son the bond which made her stay, how about giving that son his due?

Paul, we learn , has his own issues with his warring parents. Both don’t have time for him. One flaunts her affairs, the other locks himself up in his darkroom. What’s a poor guy to do? Is it any wonder then, that he takes a few faltering steps in the wrong direction?

Caroline gill may be a nurse with a conscience, but then, why didn’t her conscience allow her to disclose the truth about Phoebe to Norah? Why did she stay quiet all those years.And just when she did finally need to enjoy life with her husband, she turns to Norah and ‘hands over’ her daughter. At this point, I couldn’t figure out who was more selfish, Norah or Caroline?!

The worst part was the sudden exit of David.No reason, no excuses. Just a simple exit.

Phoebe never knew what she had missed out. Somehow, I feel her story was left unsaid. She was just the object on whom everyone had an opinion. None of her opinion were emphasized on. What did she feel when she met her real brother? Her mother?

I would say that in the end, I was one disappointed reader. The book didn’t give me the satisfaction of tying up loose ends. There were too many threads hanging around and no evident conclusion in sight.

The narration in the first half of the book is good, but after that, it tends to drag. Maybe because the author doesn’t add anything new to the story, other than adding a new character where none was required. We are introduced to Paul’s initial interest in this character, but after that, there is no follow-up on it. We have no idea why he doesn’t pursue her, or the reason why he isn’t pursuing her. Fickle guy indeed!!

Anyhow, I’m a tad unhappy with the final outcome.

Trying to get over it by reading another book, The Zoya Factor currently 🙂

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