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My Name is Memory

Title: My Name is Memory
Author: Ann Brashares
Genre: Fiction
Pages: 324
Published: June 2010
Publisher: Riverhead Books
Rating: 9/10

Summary: Daniel is fascinated, enthralled, captivated by a girl that he fell in love with centuries ago. He spends lifetimes searching for, loving from afar, Sofia. The two star-crossed loves finally align, and Daniel cannot find a way to pursue Sofia, Lucy in this lifetime. Daniel's hesitation allows for his worst fear to replay - Sofia with another man.

Thoughts: After reading all of Brashares previous books, I was looking forward to her introduction of new characters. Her characters are richly created, embodying both the frailty and eternal hope of humanity. Daniel spends centuries chasing after the girl he glimpsed moments before causing her death, pining for her touch, a glance, a word. His unending faith that they will one day be together is testament to any love story. Aspects of the story reminded me of Romeo and Juliet, with a twist, only this Romeo remembers. Daniel remembers everything about all his lives, over 200 years of lives, and the space between them. I read the book in two sittings, both wanting to know what happened, and yet wanting it to not end. The alternation between Daniel's present life and his past lives, with Lucy's story intertwined, gave both characters a chance to come alive. Lucy becomes as interested in finding out her past lives as Daniel is in keeping his memory of Sofia intact. The culmination of Daniel's centuries of yearning happens so close to the end of the novel, I felt it could definately be longer. The ending is fitting in one way but also leaves the door open for a sequel. I want to know more about Daniel and Lucy, but at the same time, enjoyed the culmination of their search for each other. A sequel would need to have a different tone, since the search for each other was the driving inpetus for the story.

The foil to the lovers having a happily ever after through the ages is Daniel's brother who has learned to skip the transition through death and re-birth right into a body that is fully functioning. Through the centuries he keeps Sofia from Daniel, even marrying her. The story revolves around Daniel and Sofia but I would like to have known more about Joaquim. The polarity of good/evil between the brothers drives the story, but evil should have some form of a voice.

The lack of supporting characters is something that carries over from The Last Summer (of You and Me), Brashares adult novel. I would like to have seen Daniel and Lucy from another perspective than just each others.

"My Name is Memory" captured me from the start. A love story spanning centuries, with moments captured so rarely they dazzle like diamonds. The flawed characters create an enthralling notion of soul mates. The abiguous ending both allows for a squel and brings closure.
Absolutly fantastic. I can't recommend the book enough!

I received this book as an Advaced Review Copy from Penguin Canada.
Tags: genre: fiction, review, xxx author last name: a-h
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