Thursday, April 15, 2010

Review: My Name is Memory by Ann Brashares

My Name Is MemoryFrom the Back Cover:

The story of a love that lasts more than a lifetime.

Daniel has spent centuries falling in love with the same girl. Life after life, crossing continents and dynasties, he and Sophia have been drawn together - and he remembers it all. Daniel has "the memory", the ability to recall past lives and recognize the souls of those he's previously known. It's a gift and a curse. For all the times he and Sophia have been drawn together throughout history, they have also been torn painfully, fatally apart. A love always too short.

But just as Sophia (reborn as "Lucy") finally begins to awaken to the secret of their shared past, the mysterious force that has always wrenched them apart reeappears. Ultimately, they must recognize what stands in the way of their love if they are ever to spend a lifetime together.

The prologue of this book really drew me in as Daniel gives a description of what living over and over again feels like and this intriguing and touching revelation sets the stage for the rest of the book:

I have fallen in love, and she is the one who endures. I killed her once, and died for her many times and I still have nothing to show for it. I always search for her; I always remember her. I carry the hope that someday she will remember me.

I actually read a book a few years ago on Dr. Ian Stevenson's research on childhood memories of past lives and it was fascinating. Interestingly, Dr. Stevenson was the head of the Division of Perceptual Studies at the University of Virginia, where Lucy also attends school, and Ms. Brashares endows Daniel and Lucy with some of the traits he identified as being common among children who remember past lives.
I enjoyed reading about Daniel's past lives, beginning in the 6th century, but I thought his great love affair with Sophia was depicted as more of a "great crush" that he carried with him through all of his lives. It wasn't until his stint as a WWI soldier that I felt like their souls actually begin to form a real connection.
As always, the ending can make or break the book, and in this case, it breaks it. I am not a fan of the ambiguous ending. I had to read this ending three times and I still don't know what the heck happened. Too bad because it was a well-written book. A lot of character introspection and thought-provoking passages about souls and reincarnation, but I will say I think this book was too short and light for such a heavy story concept. It could have been fleshed out and explored in more detail, could have been more intense and dramatic and I probably would have liked it better if the main characters had been a little older, (physically, anyway).
A fairly good read, up until the ending, at least, but ultimately, forgettable for me.

Rating:  3 Stars out of 5

*Please note: This review references an Advanced Reader Copy received from the publisher, and therefore the final published copy may differ. I was not compensated in any other way and this review is my unbiased opinion.


  1. What a bummer that it didn't live up to the great expectations! Lovely review. :)

    I just posted my review for Romancing Miss Bronte at The Crowded Leaf if you're interested!

  2. I guess the ambiguous ending was probably because there is (are?) sequels lined up. I just finished this book last week, and enjoyed it. But didn't love it. The writing bugged me. I felt it could have done better. When Lucy and Daniel finally meet up - both times, their meeting feels so lame, after all that buildup to that moment. Good review!


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