Friday, May 13, 2011

My Name Is Memory-Ann Brashares

My Name Is Memory
Ann Brashares
Riverhead (Putnam), Jun 1 2011, $15.00
ISBN: 9781594485183

In 2004 in Hopewood, Virginia Lucy heard the rumors about new student Daniel, but assumes it is all are trash talk because the new guy on the block behaves differently than the boys at high school. At the Senior Ball they kiss. He calls her Sophia and explains that they have loved each other in many lives since the sixth century. Lucy flees.

Daniel thinks back to that first time when he burned down the wrong cottage and killed her. He muses how during each reincarnation he searches for her, but their relationship always ends tragically. He keeps hoping that in one lifetime they will come together. In WWI Constance the nurse hid a letter to a future Sophia about her and Daniel

In 2006 Lucy attends college in Charlottesville. A psychic mentions Daniel to her, shaking her to the core. Needing the truth, she searches the Net and undergoes past life hypnosis. When she locates the letter, Lucy becomes a believer; but fails to find Daniel. Meanwhile his brother Joaquin who she married in a long ago life seeks to kill one and take the other.

This is an engaging reincarnation romantic triangle in which much of the tale is about Daniel looking back at previous intersections with Sophia including when he rescued her from her husband his brother. Late in the story line, the plot veers towards a confrontation thriller, which is what seems to be a set up for a sequel. The past lives are entertaining segues that give My Name Is Memory a sort of anecdotal short story feel, but the suspense which comes late hangs out there for the next book. Still this is an enjoyable look at relationships over the centuries.

Harriet Klausner

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