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My Name is Memory Paperback – June 7, 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Riverhead Trade; Reprint edition (June 7, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594485186
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594485183
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.9 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (259 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #100,424 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

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. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

On the heels of recent film adaptations of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Audrey Niffenegger’s The Time Traveler’s Wife, Brashares’ second novel for adults taps into the growing appetite for romances thwarted by extraordinary tricks of time. Virginia high-school student Lucy is inexplicably drawn to classmate Daniel, but when he claims to have known her before, a thoroughly unsettled Lucy flees. Gradually, Lucy learns the impossible truth: Daniel has been chasing her through ages and lives for 1,200 years. In chapters that alternate viewpoints between the two lovers, past and present, the couples’ unrequited desire builds, even as a murderous soul threatens their reunion. Steamy bedroom scenes aside, the coming-of-age sensibility will feel familiar to crossover adult fans of Brashares’ best-selling Traveling Pants series for teens. Readers tantalized by the possibilities of past lives and soul-mate connections will devour this unabashed romance, which has the heart-pounding pace and tone of a beach novel, and hope for the sequel hinted at in the open ending. Suggest John Fowles’ The French Lieutenant’s Woman (1969) while they wait. --Gillian Engberg --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Ann Brashares is the bestselling author of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, The Second Summer of the Sisterhood, Girls in Pants, Forever in Blue, The Last Summer (of You and Me), and My Name is Memory.

Customer Reviews

By the end of the book I was very disappointed.
Nita Bruemmer
The story jumped around to so many different people and places that at the end of the book, none of the characters have been developed well.
Alita
I read this book in 2 days, I could not put it down!
Lola16

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

49 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on June 1, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I've been a fan of Ann Brashares's work since I first picked up Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (Sisterhood of Traveling Pants, Book 1) when I was fourteen years old. I've read everything that she's published since then, including her first adult novel, The Last Summer (of You and Me). What I've enjoyed most about her novels is her ability to make her stories feel so real. That may not seem like such a great feat considering that everything she's written thus far has been realistic fiction. However, if you pick up My Name is Memory, you'll understand what I mean.

Daniel and Lucy's story is of a fantastic nature. The premise is predicated on the idea of reincarnation which, whether you believe in it or not, lends a supernatural element to the tale. The themes of love, loss and danger, however, are what grounds it in reality and what, in my opinion, makes it truly awe-inspiring.

What I loved most about this book were the flashbacks, which were mostly told from Daniel's viewpoint. Brashares's premise isn't all that unique. There are plenty of love stories about people who have loved each other across time and space. They often fail, though, by not adequately drawing these potentially epic relationships. My Name is Memory excels at this. Not only do we get a complete understanding of why and how these two individuals came to love each so much, but we also are treated to wonderfully illustrated historical backdrops and landscapes. The rich settings go a long way in enhancing the overall story.
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Format: Hardcover
First and foremost, My Name is Memory is a powerful love story. Daniel is described as an old soul -- his soul has lived through countless reincarnations and he remembers each of his past lives. In the world that Ann Brashares creates, there are a handful of old souls who retain memories of their past lives. Everyone else lives their lives with their slates clean, with no clear memories of past experiences. Though Brashares suggests that the occasional sense of affinity that we have with people may have come from a friendship or a tie in a previous life. The few that retain memories of past lives can usually trace this ability or "long memory" to a deep trauma or a strong affinity of sorts. Of the old souls, Daniel stands out since his memory reaches back over 1,500 years to the time that he first met and fell in love with Sophia.

Daniel's memory comes from his love of Sophia, as if he wills himself to remember everything about her. His love and fate lead Daniel to retain these memories each time he is reborn. Somehow Daniel and Sophia are reborn within similar times. They encounter each other in different cultures and continents over 1,500 years. Daniel remembers his past lives starting from when he first met Sophie in 520 A.D. to each of his reincarnations. In all the different reincarnations, Daniel knows Sophia. But equal to his joy in finding her is his disappointment that Sophia never recognizes Daniel.

Daniel learns how to carry over skills and wealth from one life to another. He's skilled in medicine, in business, and in most trades. In each rebirth, Daniel prepares to meet Sophia and with each new encounter he is equally surprised and moved.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By TBF2013 on December 21, 2010
Format: Hardcover
The ending of this book is deeply unsatisfying and even a bit nonsensical, so I am hoping that there will indeed be a sequel as the rumors suggest. I don't always expect books to wrap all the loose ends into a neatly tied bow by the ending; often that makes for contrived and predictable storytelling, but this book really <had> no ending. The romantic parts are a bit cheesey, and I found some parts to be artificially convenient (Joaquim's ability to body-snatch, for example; it's never really explained by the author how this one person with The Memory can avoid being born as an infant and somehow "take over" a grown adult's body). On the whole, it was a very entertaining story; an easy read without being too juvenile or overly simplistic. I am looking forward to a sequel.
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17 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Alayne VINE VOICE on June 1, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I suppose that I could start out by saying that this was a decent book. Am I head over heels for it? Not exactly. But did I want to poke my eyes out? No.

My Name is Memory is the first in a trilogy, which will be a good thing because fans of Young Adult books are bound to relish it. It's a book about love that crosses time and distance. Daniel has loved Sophia from the first time he saw her, thousands of years ago. Now that she is Lucy, he loves her more. Daniel has the gift of Memory; he can recall all his past lives every time he is born in a new body. For all of his lives he has searched for the reincarnated Sophia, knowing they belong together. But something, or someone, always seems to tear them apart. He was close to her once, knowing her as Lucy in high school, but he scared her away when he tried to tell her the truth. So he vowed to watch her from a distance, never to interfere, until the day his distance puts her in danger. Daniel's brother Joaquim was once married to Sophia. When Daniel rescued Sophia from Joaquim's abusive rage, Joaquim vows to get revenge and he carries his hatred with him into each of his new lives. If Joaquim finds Lucy and discovers she's Sophia, Daniel may not be able to rescue her in time.

My main problem with this book is the same problem I had with Stephenie Meyer's The Host: it's lauded as an "adult" book, meaning not Young Adult fiction, but I didn't get that distinction in The Host, and I don't get it in My Name is Memory. Adding a couple of intimacy scenes along with abuse and genocide doesn't necessarily mean you've written a more adult type of book.
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