Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Alice's Review: My Name is Memory

My Name Is Memory
Summary:  A romance that stretches across centuries and past lives constitutes the core of Brashares's varied second adult novel, the first in a planned trilogy. The story is primarily that of Daniel, as, in the present, he pursues Lucy (whom he knows as Sophia in a previous life) and attempts to persuade her of their history and destiny, but his passion initially and understandably scares her off. He disappears, presumed dead, but Lucy, unable to forget him, investigates his claims of their history until she discovers the truth. Meanwhile, Daniel takes readers on a tour of romantic near-misses, from sixth-century Africa through eighth-century Turkey to WWI. The story moves slowly and predictably, though when a plot finally materializes, Brashares (Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants) manages some satisfying momentum, even if the story begins to feel like it's borrowed from a James Patterson novel. Brashares's insights into human nature, meanwhile, should appeal to readers who enjoyed The Time-Traveler's Wife, but can appreciate a Nicholas Sparks-esque sensibility. ~ Publishers Weekly

Review:  I am a big fan of Ann Brashares’s Sisterhood series and I was really looking forward to her leap into women’s literature. I have to admit that her first attempt left me wanting however, from the first summary of My Name Is Memory I couldn’t wait to read this book.

In this story, our hero is Daniel who with each reincarnation remembers his past lives. In his first life, he meets a girl whom he shares an instant connection however, she is lost to him. He runs into her again in the 500s, this time as his brother’s wife Sophia. And this is where the love story begins. Well, that’s where it begins for Daniel but for Lucy it begins in 2004 where she meets fellow high school student Daniel whom she can’t stop thinking about.

It was so easy to fall in love with this book. Ms. Brashares magically weaves Daniel and Sophia’s love story through time. I’m a bit of a cynic and I completely believed her. I kept thinking about whom in my life I have known before and I don’t even believe in past lives.

I loved the character of Lucy. I loved getting to know her and watching her gain her identity through her discoveries. She was all things at once: confident and insecure, guarded and giving. This is my favorite thing about Lucy, “She went around with a broken heart, and she wasn’t sure who’d broken it. She thought it was herself, mostly.” As a fellow broken heart girl, I know exactly where she’s coming from.

I enjoyed reading Daniel’s point of view of his pursuit of love for Sophia, but there were times when I wanted him to get over it and stop living in the past. He was so focused on what happened that he couldn’t see what was right in front of him. He was all about Sophia saying, “She is my doing and my undoing.” Yeah, he’s fictional. Guys in real life aren’t as deep as, “I’ve always feared she would find completion without me, and I’d be around, stupid and unperfected, forever.” Well, at least not the ones I know.

I loved this book. It is well written, magical yet with a strand of reality weaved through it. I wished there was a man like Daniel following me through time, hoping to see me at every corner. This book was easily a 4, maybe even a 5. That is until I got to the ending, it not what I expected. There was so many ways Ms. Brashares could have gone only she didn’t. When I read that last sentence, I was so angry that I invested hours on this story. I was so mad, I couldn’t remember one redeeming factor. I finished this novel about a week ago and I am only now doing the review. You wouldn’t have wanted to read my initial one, it wouldn’t have been fair to Ms. Brashares or this story.

Now that I’ve had time to think of it as a whole, I believe that above all things, this is one of the greatest love stories ever told. It has so many great lines, I got so much from this. I loved that she wrote, “Hope was the thing you picked to happen, and fear was the thing you picked not to happen, and often with him they were blurred.” And even this one which describes how I felt reading it, or actually how we all feel about something we love, “As I’ve said, it’s desire more than anything else that keeps us coming back for more.”

This is a great story. A must read for all. I can’t imagine one person out there who won’t enjoy it. My one complaint is that the ending isn’t at all what I thought it would be. It’s not that it didn’t go in the direction I wanted it just…oh well, read and see for yourself. I am interested to hear what you think of it.

Final Take: 3/5



Kristen August 18, 2010 at 7:43 PM  

I'm happy to see your review because I loved My Name is Memory. I don't think I hated the ending as much as you did, but, yeah, I wouldn't have chosen that ending. It ends on such a cliffhanger too. I agree with your assessment that it's an EPIC love story. I can't wait for her next book!

Josh Healy August 20, 2010 at 9:12 AM  

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GABY August 20, 2010 at 11:02 PM  

I want to read this book so badly. It's a shame the ending wasn't what you wanted, but it still sounds like a very romantic reading I'd enjoy.

Thanks for your review!

FionaChan August 22, 2010 at 10:27 PM  

wait, so it's a happy ending, or not? O_O

I think this might be the first review for this book I've read.

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