Wednesday, July 20, 2011

MY NAME IS MEMORY by Ann Brashares

MY NAME IS MEMORY – Ann Brashares
Riverhead Books (Trade Paperback)
ISBN: 978-1-59448-518-3
June 2011
Fiction

Hopewood, Virginia and other Countries – 541 to 2009

Is there life after death? Reincarnation? Daniel Grey knows the answer. It is true, he has lived many lives before and he remembers each and every one of them. In his first life, he set fire to a home and killed a child, a little girl. She became Sophia later in another life, and his one true love, whom he met over and over again in the lives he was reborn into. Daniel has been looking for Sophia in each of his lives and in most of them, he has found her, but circumstances, and fate, found ways to keep them apart. Now, he has found her again. She is called Lucy, and Daniel vows not to let her get away from him.

Lucy noticed Daniel first when she was in the eleventh grade, and later, at graduation, he tries to tell her who he thinks she is. He kisses her and she runs away, frightened. He speaks of other lives and calls her Sophia. The boy is crazy. In college, Lucy visits a fortune teller who speaks frightening words about the life she gave up when she rejected Daniel. The fortune teller calls her Sophia. Again, Lucy runs away. But the words she recalls from her conversation with Daniel and the things the fortune teller spoke of haunt her. Lucy sets out to find Daniel.

MY NAME IS MEMORY is a story of Daniel’s many lives, beginning with the year 541 in North Africa. We travel with Daniel through time and many countries as he is reincarnated from life to life. In each of his lives, he dreams of reuniting with Sophia. Sometimes he finds her; sometimes he doesn’t. Daniel tells us about himself, how he is one of the people with the memory, people who can recall each and every life they have lived in startling detail. We meet his friend, Ben, one of the people who remember, and Daniel's evil and dangerous brother, Joaquim. He’s searching for Daniel, and he won’t stop until he finds him. Meanwhile, as Lucy gets closer and closer to the truth about Daniel, Joaquim also stalks her. Will Lucy and Daniel find their way to each other and to happiness?

An unexpected twist at the end brings MY NAME IS MEMORY to a conclusion, but not one with which I was totally pleased. The book is riveting, however, taking us through time and episodes of Daniel's life. The pages intrigue the reader, and as we also learn about Lucy’s past lives, it brings questions to mind about what is real and what is not. Although I was not completely satisfied with the ending of Daniel and Lucy’s story, MY NAME IS MEMORY is an unforgettable story.

Diana Risso

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