I saw this book numerous times on endcaps and special tables at Joseph-Beth, and the snob in me decided that I wouldn't read it. I tend to baulk at things that are popular. It is one of my many personality defects. But the book came highly recommended. So, I read the first chapter at the bookstore and was hooked. I challenge anyone (of the 8 people who regularly view this blog) to read the first chapter and try to put the book down.
The book essentially follows a family from the 60's through the late 80's. I found the structure of the book particularly alluring. The reader gets little snapshots from different areas during this 30-year period. I don't want to give anything away, because there are relatively few twist and turns of plot. Although The Memory Keeper's Daughter had a good plot, the characters are what really drive the book.
As I was reading the book, I got the distinct feeling that the end was going to ruin the story. However, Edwards does an excellent job tying up all the loose ends she created throughout the book, bringing the storylines of the various characters to a satisfying close. This was an excellent first novel.