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Thursday, July 15, 2010

My Name is Memory by Ann Brashares

My Name is Memory by Ann Brashares
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, Historical
Length: Full (401 pages)
Heat: Spicy
Rating: 5 Books
Reviewed by Camellia

Daniel tells me that he`s always loved me. That I feel the same. That I always have.

Not just in this life, but in my last life, and all my lives before.

But I don`t remember him. He says he is always searching for me. Always hoping that one day I will remember. But it is only he that carries the memory of our love.

I know that finding true love is never easy. Perhaps you have fought for it. Perhaps, like Daniel, you have endured the pain of it being unrequited.

But I hope your quest ends happily.

I hope you never have to face the heartbreak that inevitably awaits us.

The purity of a love that spans the ages make My Name is Memory awe-inspiring. This fantastic, spellbinding tale enlivens the imagination and takes the reader on a hopscotch journey through time.

The possibilities of past lives and immortal memory joined with a love that transcends time lures the reader into Daniel and Lucy’s 2009 story of love—a love that has been thwarted through the centuries and a multitude of lives for them both, but only Daniel remembers these lives.

Daniel gives the reader a glimpse of sixth-century Africa as he lived his first life and made a mistake that he has tried to atone for ever since. In another of his lives that he lived during World War I, when he lay dying in an England manor/ hospital, he shares a beautiful story of his short time with his soul mate. This time becomes extra special when Daniel and Lucy touch each other’s lives in twenty-first century America. His first person accounts of these stories and others give an authenticity to the events—making them so believable.

As the story builds, Lucy and Daniel’s points-of-view alternate with the chapters, keeping the reader involved with both characters and the overwhelming inner conflicts they each have to work through as they mature from their senior year in high school and through college.

As the plot gains momentum, danger increases and events race along at a fever pace. Daniel’s connections from centuries past, some helpful and some deadly, come to influence their 2009 lives. Lucy does not have a memory like Daniel’s but her youthful determination and commitment to her newly-discovered soul mate give the feeling that her need to be with Daniel is just as strong as his need has been to be with her since the sixth-century.

Ann Brashares’ insight into the emotions of young adults as they come to know themselves and mature beyond being shelf-absorbed brings depth to the story and makes the characters come alive. Her engaging writing style smoothes the way for the reader to be transported to far-away places with strange-sounding names, to feel the horrors of wars and the cruelty the disenfranchised suffer at the hands of the rich and powerful regardless of the time in history. It also reveals and celebrates the wonder of love that endures.

My Name is Memory is a captivating, open-ended story that begs for a sequel. I’ll be watching for it.