Susan Johnson's Reviews > The Map of Lost Memories

The Map of Lost Memories by Kim Fay
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Sep 01, 2012

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Read in August, 2012

This book just couldn't make up it's mind on what kind of book it was. It's billed as an adventure novel but the adventure doesn't begin until halfway through the book. Adventure books tend to move at a rapid pace but that only happened the last 75 pages. Earlier on it just dragged. I began to think the story would never move from Shanghi. It's not really a character study. The leading character is the only one fully developed and the other women are actually fairly done but the male characters are only there as back drops. It's not really a travel book because I learned very little about the Cambodian culture. I really wanted to as I know next to nothing about it but I didn't come out much wiser than when I began.

The book is about a young woman who has a passion for Cambodia. She works as a museum curator in Seattle and is passed over for promotion. Since it's the 1920's, it's probably not that surprising. Irene Blum wants to prove how big a mistake the museum board made so she goes on a quest to find a lost temple in Cambodia. Her parents had been there in the past and her guardian, Mr. Simms- a wealthy man, bankrolls her expedition.

She flies to Shanghi and gathers an odd bunch of characters to assist her on her journey. How she meets them and gets their support makes up the first half of the book. There are a lot of drugs, parties and double dealing involved in assembling her team. They all want to find the temple but for different reasons.

I think this is an average book. There are some good points. The women are interesting. The descriptions on Cambodia are lyrical and descritive. The last 100 pages are very good. The jungle came alive for me and the wonderful finds were really brought to life. The pacing was good.

I'd like to think this is the first book of a series. I'd really like to read what happens next. I'd love to read more about the Cambodian culture and what happened to them. I'd like to know if there's a treasure map. I'd like to know if the characters continue to evolve. I hope the story doesn't end with this book. It could be a very good series.
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