The Memory Keeper's Daughter 1964, Chapter 2 Summary

Kim Edwards

1964, Chapter 2 Summary

The nurse carries the doctor’s daughter to her car in a cardboard box as she wades through the knee-deep snow. She looks at the tiny girl and thinks, “If you didn’t know, you wouldn’t know” about the Down’s syndrome. The drive is treacherous, but she continues. Caroline still cannot believe she is performing this task. She is sure David was simply in shock, pain, and confusion from the necessity of delivering twins in a blizzard. He will come to his senses soon, she is sure.

As she drives, she thinks of her own birth and wonders if she slept as soundly as this infant is sleeping. Her parents, who were older at the time of her birth, had been fussy and overprotective; she remembers longing for the freedoms afforded other children as she was kept inside to avoid contamination from the world. She and the baby finally arrive at the destination Dr. Henry had given her, and she enters the formidable building with the baby.

Caroline Gill is thirty-one years old, and she has waited a long time for her “real life to begin.” She has felt since childhood that something extraordinary would happen in her life, that a moment would occur in which everything would change. Nothing about her life so far has been extraordinary—not art, not love, and not her profession. When Dr. David Henry entered the clinic in which she worked, she knew before he spoke—before he shook her hand and introduced himself—that this was the man who was going to change her life.

He was single then, and Caroline was in love with him. In that one moment when she saw him sleeping, she allowed her true feelings to show; however, weeks later he married Norah Asher and Caroline was crushed. Now she sits in an overheated building with overpowering smells of cooking while the baby continues to sleep. Her moment of resentfulness toward the doctor’s wife, the woman who appears to have everything, passes, and the nurse makes her way to the sound of...

(The entire section is 724 words.)