Thursday, 24 June 2010

Book Review: My Name is Memory by Ann Brashares.

Product details:
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Hardcover, 416 pages.
Release date: June 24th 2010.
Rating: 4½ out of 5.
Source: ARC received from publisher for review.

Short summary from Goodreads:

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. 

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. 

On reading Ann Brashares first adult book, The Last Summer of You and Me, I classed it as a light summer read, a little too soppy for my liking, and with a neat happy ending all tied up in a bow.  So, when I sat down to read this, I was expecting more of the same. I had prepared myself for a fun beach read, but what I got was so much more than that.  In short, I loved this book.  I didn’t want it to end.  I loved the characters, and the unique storyline, which fascinated me and kept me enthralled from start to finish.  I’m literally dying to know when the second book in this proposed trilogy is out, and I really hope I’m not in for too long of a wait!

I’m not quite sure how to describe this book to you.  It is an epic romance for sure, detailing a love story between two wonderful characters, but it also contains elements of mystery, thriller, action, adventure, travel and some wonderful historical detail, which was a real treat for a historical fiction fan, like me. In short, it has everything you could want from a good book, and I think it will appeal  to women of all ages.

The central love story in the book between soulmates Daniel and Sophia runs through the ages taking the reader on a journey from Asia Minor in 551 to England during World War I, all the time hopping back and forth between present day America.  I sometimes find that this writing style makes a story difficult to follow, but not so here.  The writing style is fluid and effortless and the prose flows from page to page.  The love story is wonderful, touching and real, and I genuinely cared about what happened to the characters. 

Although this book has drawn comparisons to The Time Traveller’s Wife, I found the subject matter in this book to be much more interesting. I've mentioned before that I didn't enjoy The Time Traveller's Wife.  It's a book I couldn't really get into at all.   The theme here is not of time travel, though but of reincarnation and rebirth of the soul. I really found this aspect of the book quite fascinating.  Daniel remembers the former lives of his soul, while Sophia, known as Lucy in present day, does not.  Daniel spends the ages trying to find Sophia and reconnect with her, while all the while his past may come back to haunt him in the shape of his eternal enemy. This is the twist in the tale, that takes My Name is Memory from being a straightforward, although epic romance, and makes it something so much more.  Things end on quite a cliffhanger, which is why I’m so anxious for the next book in the series already!

In case you hadn’t guessed, I cannot recommend this book highly enough.  The movie rights have already been optioned, and I really think this one will look great on the big screen.  First though,  I suggest you all add it to your summer reading list.  You won’t be disappointed.


14 comments :

  1. Thanks for the review. I like it very much and the book cover is very pretty ;p

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  2. wonderful review! i really, REALLY want to read this one, and that doesn't happen a lot- i usually don't care much for contemporary adult romances!

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  3. I'm dying to read this book!

    Thanks for the review ;)

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  4. I am reading this right now! I am really enjoying it :)

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  5. I have this book too so I'm glad to hear it was really good. I wasn't too nuts about her previous book either.

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  6. I just realized that this book is written by the Sisterhood author! I've added this to my list of things I want to read! :)

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  7. This sounds like something I would really like. Great review :)

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  8. I really liked this book too, though I found the middle went a little slow for my taste. I find myself still thinking about the story and characters now, weeks after finishing the book.

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  9. You have convinced me! Especially considering I wasn't a fan of the Time Traveller's Wife either. This one sounds fantastic!

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  10. This book is already on my books to buy list. Your book review is just speeding up the process in getting me to buy this asap!

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  11. I'm reading this at the moment! I'm having trouble putting it down! I agree with you that the subject matter in this is far more interesting than the Time Travellers Wife. This certainly provokes thought long after you've read it which to me is a sign of a good book!

    Fantastic review! Off to go finish reading this myself! :)

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  12. Great review! At first I thought this book sounded like so many other books out there, but now I definitely want to read it!

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  13. Fab review Leanna. I've read some fairly mixed reviews, but get the impression I am going to like this one lots. And I LOVED TTTW! my all time favourite book. Ever.

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  14. Great review. I couldn't really get into TTTW, it was okay but not outstanding in my opinion. This one sounds much better!

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