My Name is Memory
Author: Ann Brashares
Pages [hardcover]: 324
Book 1 of what might be a trilogy
Memorable Quote: How many times could you give up on someone you loved?
Favorite Character: Ben
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’ve loved Ann Brashares ever since I first picked up The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. However, I just couldn’t seem to get into this book. I love the reincarnation love story aspect-when I read Reincarnation by Suzanne Weyn, I was obsessed for weeks. But . . . something just didn’t click. It might have been the characters-Daniel insists on following the same patterns over and over, even when he knows it will push Sophia/Lucy away. I know that part of his personality is emphasized throughout the novel-that he can’t seem to let go. But I think that if you love someone as much as he seems to love her, you’d change yourself the tiniest fraction so you don’t freak them out.
I liked how the reader gets to view Daniel and Lucy from several of their lives, not just their present ones. But in the middle of an intense story of their shared history, Daniel would often break off into a random internal monologue. Actually, Lucy also has this problem. I’m all for knowing what the character is thinking, but less would be more in this case. I can’t count the number of times Daniel worried over whether Lucy would hate him or talked about his endless love for her.
That said, I don’t think it was an especially bad book. There were interesting concepts and vivid settings, tales of love and romance. It gets a little confusing in some parts, but kept my attention throughout.
My Name is Memory gets 3/5 stars.