Author: Ann Brashares
# of Pages: 336
Date Published: 2010
Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars
Ann Brashares, who also wrote the much-acclaimed Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series, composes a unique and intriguing love story in My Name is Memory. Daniel has “the memory.” He can remember all of his past lives – from 520 A.D. to present day. Through countless deaths, parents, wives, and wars, he remembers it all. But despite living these different perspectives that span human existence, one thing remains constant in Daniel’s remembrance: his love for a soul, which he calls Sophia. From 552 A.D. Asia Minor to 1918 England to 1972 Virginia, Daniel and Sophia’s souls are constantly seeking each other, only to lose each other time after time again.
The book takes place in the present day, with Daniel and Sophia, named Lucy by her current parents, meeting in high school. However, in order for them to finally be together, they both must conquer the competing forces that have kept them apart for so long.
This book was fairly entertaining and well written but dragged on a bit in the middle. One can only take so much whining about how much Daniel and Lucy love and yearn for the other. Nothing of consequence happens within the first 300 pages; it is simply a summarized account of a number of their past lives and a never-ending stream of pained thoughts detailing their unrequited love.
Don’t get me wrong, the anecdotes of their past lives were interesting and varied. I enjoyed reading them and putting the pieces together. It just took Brashares too long to reach the climax of the novel – not to mention the unfinished ending. I have never been one to adamantly despise ambiguous endings, as long as they make sense with the rest of the story and leave the reader with a sense of thoughtfulness to take with them. However, the ending of My Name is Memory was far from thoughtful. I wouldn’t even call it ambiguous. It just ended, as if no further explanation or musing was necessary. As far as I know, there is no sequel to this book. The main action of the novel was completely cut short.
Despite the disappointing ending of this novel, I did enjoy the ride to the end and would recommend this book to lovers of romance novels. Only people who have an affinity for this genre will be able to stand the repetitive stream of consciousness that revolves around Daniel and Sophia’s love.
Review by Brittany Duncan, A&S '16
Illustration Below by Tashrika Sharma, A&S '15