Friday, November 19, 2010

My Name is Memory by Ann Brashares

Book Details
My Name is Memory by Ann Brashares
Hardcover, 336 Pages
2010, Riverhead Hardcover
ISBN: 1594487588

From the New York Times-bestselling author of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants and The Last Summer (of You and Me) comes an imaginative, inspired, magical book-a love story that lasts more than a lifetime.

Daniel has spent centuries falling in love with the same girl. Life after life, crossing continents and dynasties, he and Sophia (despite her changing name and form) have been drawn together-and he remembers it all. Daniel has "the memory", the ability to recall past lives and recognize souls of those he's previously known. It is a gift and a curse. For all the times that he and Sophia have been drawn together throughout history, they have also been torn painfully, fatally, apart. A love always too short.

Interwoven through Sophia and Daniel's unfolding present day relationship are glimpses of their expansive history together. From 552 Asia Minor to 1918 England and 1972 Virginia, the two souls share a long and sometimes torturous path of seeking each other time and time again. But just when young Sophia (now "Lucy" in the present) finally begins to awaken to the secret of their shared past, to understand the true reason for the strength of their attraction, the mysterious force that has always torn them apart reappears. Ultimately, they must come to understand what stands in the way of their love if they are ever to spend a lifetime together.

A magical, suspenseful, heartbreaking story of true love, My Name is Memory proves the power and endurance of a union that was meant to be.

I enjoyed My Name is Memory far more than I expected to. While the concept of reincarnation and the ability to remember every past life exactly intrigued me, the thought of reading a story that continually jumped from present to past lives and back again initially put me off. I'm very glad I gave it a chance though. The chapters were helpfully headed with place and date and the main character, Daniel, retains much of his personality throughout his lives, making him very easy to understand and relate to.

My Name is Memory is clearly a romantic sort of book. Daniel loves Sophia from the very moment he saw her, but alas, it was not meant to be. Daniel, possessing the ability to remember, seeks out and finds Sophia's reincarnation time and again, only to continue to fail to woo her. Daniel's unending love, surviving over a thousand years, is endearing and just a touch obsessive.

Lucy, not possessing the memory, feels drawn to Daniel but his demeanor towards her makes her question this attraction. Once she begins to unravel the mysterious past they both seem to share, she has to wonder if she's just crazy.

The barriers that prevent the couple from being together are always different, showing exactly how a love "meant to be" can fail in so many ways. More than romance, My Name is Memory shows just how much Daniel misses in his lives, chasing after a girl who literally doesn't know he exists. Part fantasy, part historical, part romance - My Name is Memory is a wonderfully unexpected story.


Ann Brashares'

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