Ann Brashares latest novel My Name is Memory is the perfect melding of historical and contemporary fiction. As the saga of lovers doomed to meet and be torn apart throughout history, it offers both the modern love story mixed with the magical writings of days past. Brashares proves herself not only a true storyteller but also a gifted writer able to turn research into reality on the page while still keeping readers engaged in present day. Scanning centuries the work sweeps its readers into a world beyond their own where a lifetime is merely a moment in history.
Daniel is an old soul blessed or cursed with the “memory” depending on how you look at it. In each lifetime he views it differently. He has lived many lives and died many deaths. After each lifetime he retains many things. He remembers his former lives, skills, talents and above all his love for a woman he once wronged. Each life presents the anticipation of finally having his dear “Sophia” in his arms but this can be difficult when the woman you love has no recollection of anything beyond her present human life. Each life she is reborn like most with no recollections of what has come before. She does not know Daniel or who she was in her past.
Another complication to their eternal love story is the malicious revenge sought by a soul that was once Daniel’s brother and has now become a sworn enemy. The gift of ‘memory” is not always given to the deserving it seems and many use it maliciously for their own selfish gain or to seek revenge throughout time. Life after life Daniel must search for his love but not lead the enemy to her. It is a constant struggle between pure love and sacrifice. But after a multitude of lives will he ever truly be able to love the only woman who has ever mattered? Will the soul he knows as his once brother ever truly give them peace?
My Name is Memory is a unique work that shines with the growth of Brashares as an author; there is elegance and wisdom to her voice that only makes the novel more enchanting and unforgettable. She manages to make present day and the past flow together as though we as the reader also carry our memory through each life. Stunning and magnificent in its scope and pace, My Name is Memory will attract and amaze the historical and contemporary reader while taking its place in the world of truly well told love stories.
My Name is Memory by Ann Brashares will be available tomorrow June 1st from Riverhead Books.