“My Name is Memory” by Ann Brashares

This was a captivating read but left me disappointed in the ending. I listened to it on tape because my mom had it in her car that I was driving back from vacation and did not realize that it was the same author who also wrote “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” or that it was going to be a love story. I honestly had no expectations whatsoever and just was happy to have something to entertain me in the car.

This book was definitely entertaining. However, I found it to have overly cheesy sections of dialogue and that the author was striving so hard to appeal to a modern audience with “Facebook” references (that did not even make sense) that it just made me roll my eyes at times.

Of course, the premise of a love that spans thousands of years as the soul reincarnates is quite romantic. The book definitely has its moments and I found myself feeling swoony and bleary eyed after thinking about the years of longing and separation from the one you love. However, Brashares just seems to beat the dead horse, so to speak, and says too much when a little mystery or imagination left to the readers might have been a good thing.

I may be confusing you a bit here, so let me offer the premise. In this story, reincarnation is real and after a body dies, the soul moves on to another life until the soul has reached its fullness and dies forever. Most souls do not know they lived once before but there are a few exceptions of souls that carry the memory of the lives they lived before, the people they knew, the languages they spoke, etc. Daniel is one such soul and you quickly learn that he has loved the same woman for thousands of years but has never been able to have her love him back…up until where our modern story picks up.

The book definitely has a wonderful element of suspense that makes it a real “page turner,” but I would not consider it incredibly well-written or astoundingly imaginative throughout the whole story. The idea is mesmerizing but once you get used to its novelty, there really is not much left.

I found myself wanting to shake the characters because they were being so obviously idiotic in what seemed like an effort to extend the length of the book…which by the way ends with no resolution whatsoever. As I was listening on cd, I almost began to look for an additional disk because I thought there was no way that could be “it.”

Alas, it was “it” and I was quite disappointed. This book will undoubtedly serve its purpose as a good beach read, but don’t expect much more out of it.

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