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My Name is Memory by [Brashares, Ann]
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My Name is Memory Kindle Edition

4.0 out of 5 stars 310 customer reviews

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Length: 338 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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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.

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

Product Details

  • File Size: 676 KB
  • Print Length: 338 pages
  • Publisher: Riverhead Books; Reprint edition (May 26, 2010)
  • Publication Date: June 1, 2010
  • Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003NX75AY
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #121,159 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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Format: Kindle Edition
This isn't going to be a review as much as a rant on the publishing industry and sales/money inhibiting creativity and denying characters and readers the story and closure that they absolutely deserve.

I am an independent author. As far as sales go, my numbers are pretty great... for an indie. But compared to traditionally published authors? Forget about it. I'm not even a drop in the ocean. For me, 200 ratings is fantastic. But compared to this book's 22,000? Those are stats that I don't even dare to hope for. But because I am an indie, I get to keep writing. I get to see my stories through to the very end.

Apparently traditionally published authors don't share that luxury.

Daniel and Lucy's story is far from over. Their book ended with no real resolution. **SPOILERS** Joaquim is still out there and still looking for Lucy. Lucy is pregnant and in hiding. Daniel doesn't know about the baby. He can't be with her until he takes care of Joaquim once and for all.

I've spent the last half hour reading reviews and message boards, trying to figure out how this book isn't part of a series. Lo and behold, it was originally supposed to be. But since it didn't become a bestseller, the publisher decided against it.

This is why money should not dictate art. This story is not finished. These character's lives still hang in the balance. Daniel has been waiting thousands of years to be with Sophia, and when he finally gets the chance… It ends. Unresolved.

I don't think words can adequately express what I would do for even a thousand ratings, let alone 22,000. That those numbers are not enough for someone astounds me. I do not blame Ann Brashares in the least. She's written an amazing book. Several amazing books, for that matter.
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