Daniel has only loved one woman, whom he calls Sophia, in lifetime after lifetime. Unlike other humans, Daniel has the ability to remember his past lives and recognize the souls he has known in his previous incarnations. Sometimes he will go for centuries without encountering Sophia. Each time their lives cross paths once more, Daniel sets out to make her remember him.
Though Sophia has also been reborn time and time again, she does not remember him the way he has remembered her. For once Daniel would like their lives to intersect perfectly so they can finally be together. Age and premature death are just two of many factors that have kept them apart. There is another that lives and remembers Sophia. Joaquim wants Sophia for his own, even if it means killing his own brother to have her.
In modern day Virginia, Daniel has found Sophia once more, reborn as a young woman named Lucy. All throughout high school, Lucy has been strongly attracted to Daniel. Although they have never spoken, she feels an unexplainable desire to be with him. Finally at the end of their senior year, Lucy and Daniel tentatively speak their first words to one another. Anxious to make her understand about their pasts, Daniel’s good intentions result in her flight after they share an electric kiss.
Now in college, Lucy wonders about Daniel and tries to find him, fearing him dead. With the help of one of her past incarnations, Lucy begins to remember. Will Daniel finally get to be with the woman he loves, or will a force he is powerless to stop intervene once again?
Since reading Ann Brashares’ first adult novel The Last Summer (of You and Me), I have been eagerly awaiting to hear of any new releases by her. My Name is Memory did not disappoint. It is unpredictable, haunting, and beautifully narrated. This book made me want to believe in reincarnation, that love as strong as Daniel’s exists so that certain privileged souls can experience it one life after the next. You will find yourself falling in love right along with Lucy, wanting them to finally get their happy ending.
My Name is Memory jumps around in time, but it is neither confusing nor frustrating. Each of Daniel’s and Sophia’s lives were fascinating, though some were tragically shorter than others. The final scenes in the novel were a little dissatisfying because they don’t offer complete closure, but I can always hope that there will be a sequel or two on the horizon. If like me you can’t get enough of Daniel and Lucy, cross your fingers that we’ll be seeing My Name is Memory in theatres in 2012.
Jennifer graduated from the University of Utah with a BA in English. She occasionally dabbles with her own fiction writing, particularly with the Young Adult and Paranormal genres. She currently resides in Utah with her husband and daughter.
Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Riverhead Trade. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.