My Name is Memory
Author: Ann Brashares
Hardcover: 324 pages
Audiobook: 10 hours, 55 min
Narrators: Kathe Mazur & Lincoln Hoppe
Publisher: Penguin Audio
Published date: 2010
FTC: Hardcover bought at library bookstore, audio from library
I snagged a hardcover copy of My Name is Memory from the library bookstore. I remember a few years ago it receiving pretty good reviews and I read her novel The Last Summer of You (and Me) and thought she was a pretty good author (my review). I'm trying to make room on my rapidly bulging bookshelves right now so when I saw the library had the audiobook I snagged it up. Note: I pretty much always will have a different opinion of a book solely based on audio - there's just so many different things to judge when listening versus reading.
Back of the book:
Daniel has spent centuries falling in love with the same girl. Life after life, crossing continents and dynasties, he and Sophia (despite her changing name and form) have been drawn together-and he remembers it all. Daniel has "the memory", the ability to recall past lives and recognize souls of those he's previously known. It is a gift and a curse. For all the times that he and Sophia have been drawn together throughout history, they have also been torn painfully, fatally, apart. A love always too short.
Interwoven through Sophia and Daniel's unfolding present day relationship are glimpses of their expansive history together. From 552 Asia Minor to 1918 England and 1972 Virginia, the two souls share a long and sometimes torturous path of seeking each other time and time again. But just when young Sophia (now "Lucy" in the present) finally begins to awaken to the secret of their shared past, to understand the true reason for the strength of their attraction, the mysterious force that has always torn them apart reappears. Ultimately, they must come to understand what stands in the way of their love if they are ever to spend a lifetime together.
A magical, suspenseful, heartbreaking story of true love, My Name is Memory proves the power and endurance of a union that was meant to be.
My Name is Memory is such an original and unique love story. I really enjoyed Daniel's narration and part of the story. Lincoln Hoppe did an excellent job telling his story and perhaps it's because I love history but the narrations of his previous lives were fascinating. Although I couldn't help but think that after all of his lives and the fact that he could remember everything, he still seemed so young and naive. His basis for his great love with Sophia also seemed a bit weak. It's what I'd think a person married to their soul mate and true love for 50 years would compare to a high school kid with their first crush. Daniel seemed more on the high school crush level. But whatever.
The writing, as I was expecting from my experience with The Last Summer of You (and Me) is awesome. But there's still something I didn't like. Both My Name is Memory and The Last Summer of You (and Me) are touted as Adult books versus her YA series Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. But I just don't see it. While My Name is Memory starts with Daniel and Lucy meeting in high school, the majority of the story takes place while Lucy is in college and grad school - so adult right? I guess it just still seems like a YA book. Maybe like I said above, it's because it's still got a bit of that cheese of high school crush/first love stuff.
Lucy wasn't my favorite character. I mean she just seemed like one of those blase bland Twilight Bella characters who just kind of course through like waiting for something or someone to happen rather than take control. That always bothers me. The narration in the audio book was also a bit odd. When flash backing to Daniel's past, Lincoln Hoppe narrated. But present-day Lucy was narrated by Kathe Mazur - makes sense. But sometimes present-day Daniel was narrated by Ms Mazur as well. Seemed odd. But they both did a great job: weren't annoying and easy to follow along.
The other irksome thing is the ending. It doesn't really wrap up nicely and just leaves you hanging. Ann Brashares said on her blog that she plans on writing a sequel but I'm not sure how that is going. Will I read it if/when it comes out? Hmm. Maybe. I think that it's because of despite the well written and unique story, the relationship between Daniel and Lucy still seemed too YA and juvenile for me. Would I have loved this story when I was younger? Absolutely. But touted as an "adult" novel it just didn't do it for me.