After reading The Here and Now by Ann Brashares, I was anxious to read something else by her. Of course I have read (and listened to the audio versions of) The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series but that had been several years ago. I was intrigued by My Name is Memory. It is the story of Daniel, a young man who has a remarkable memory, so remarkable that he can remember his past lives. Most people don't remember who they used to be, but Daniel does and he is searching for Sophia, the one person with whom he has been in love for centuries.
As we join the story, Daniel and Sophia (as she is in her current form) are in high school. He is unsure of how to explain the truth of reality to someone who can't possibly believe him. The story also bounces back to Daniel's previous lives, illustrating how he has come to love Sophia and all the many lives he has spent trying to find her. "I knew her hair and her coloring and her shapes would be different next time, but the way she wore her body would keep on." An additional element that makes their lives difficult is the man whose sole purpose is to destroy them both.
I loved this book. It was interesting, exciting and a little romantic. Try this thought-provoking concept:
"And why can't I remember?"
"You can, more than you think. Those memories are in there somewhere. You act on them in ways you don't realize. They determine how you respond to people, the things you love and the things you fear. A lot of our irrational behavior would look more rational if you could see it in the context of your whole long life."
I enjoy historical fiction and fantasy and this book was both. We learn about Daniel's struggles with moving from one life to another, leaving people he has known and meeting them again in another form. The only thing I did not like about this book is that I was not aware that it was part of a planned trilogy. It ended with a terrible cliffhanger and I was not happy to learn that the next book doesn't yet have a release date four years after the release of this one. I do hope Ms. Brashares will continue this story as I can see it having so much potential. And even if she doesn't, she has given my imagination quite a head start.