BY MERIAM METOUI, Guest Writer
My Name is Memory by Ann Brashares is a captivating story about a man who never forgets.
Daniel has “The Memory,” an ability that allows him to recall his past lives and recognize the souls that he’s met. Sophia is a soul he’s spent lifetimes searching, finding, and losing. They’ve been drawn together life after life, only to be torn apart by the same destructive force again and again. This time is no different. Just when Sophia and Daniel have come as close as they’ve ever been, their love is tested like never before.
I admit I was hesitant to pick it up, since I was expecting a story reminiscent of The Sisterhood of Traveling Pants (written by the same author), but what I found was something else entirely. The cover was inviting and the plot line interesting. It was a love story with what felt like a hopeless twist: two people destined to be together but, but fighting fate at the same time. The majority of the story is written in alternating chapters between Sophia and Daniel, with Daniel using most of his chapters to retell what happened between them in each of the lives they were lucky enough to find each other in.
The pacing was slightly irregular, but well written. The characters were fully formed and relateable, especially Daniel. His story was almost overwhelming. Each little chapter about how they met could have been a book in its own right. The plot line becomes more complex with every page, until everything ties in together at the end. Most would think Daniel’s dozens of stories of how they met throughout the eras spanning from North Africa, 541 to Charlottesville, Virginia, 2006 would get repetitive or distracting, but they ended up being my favorite parts. They were detailed and unique, with Daniel never losing his genuine voice throughout his many lives. Often, the tales reflected what was happening in the present story, tying everything together. Certain aspects, though, could have been drawn out even further.
The ending is set up for a sequel. It was originally intended to be a trilogy, but unfortunately, “My Name is Memory” is the only book of hers that hasn’t been a bestseller. Her publisher isn’t pushing for books two and three. Unless a certain rumored movie deal goes through and gives this book some well-deserved attention, I don’t know if we’ll be seeing more of it. It would appeal to readers of the “Fallen” trilogy by Lauren Kate or “The Time Traveler’s Wife” by Audrey Niffenegger. Though Brashares finished off the book with a strong ending, I felt that it had more potential than what it eventually led up to. It wasn’t disappointing, it just went in a much different route than what I had originally expected. Regardless, it’s definitely worth the read.