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My Name Is Memory

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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.

324 pages, Hardcover

First published June 1, 2010

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About the author

Ann Brashares

81 books4,801 followers
Ann Brashares grew up in Chevy Chase, Maryland, with three brothers and attended a Quaker school in the D.C. area called Sidwell Friends. She studied Philosophy at Barnard College, part of Columbia University in New York City. Expecting to continue studying philosophy in graduate school, Ann took a year off after college to work as an editor, hoping to save money for school. Loving her job, she never went to graduate school, and instead, remained in New York City and worked as an editor for many years. Ann made the transition from editor to full-time writer with her first novel, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. Ann and her husband live with their three children in New York.

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5 stars
8,610 (26%)
4 stars
11,351 (34%)
3 stars
8,720 (26%)
2 stars
3,119 (9%)
1 star
1,017 (3%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 5,385 reviews
Profile Image for Stacia (the 2010 club).
1,045 reviews3,982 followers
May 21, 2012
Tonight I lost my book-throwing virginity. Sure, I've been tempted to chuck something across the room before, but have never actually done it until now.

Maybe the book didn't make it all the way across the room, but it was thrust off my lap with a certain amount of ferocity. Why, you ask? Because no book should EVER have the ending that I was just subjected to.

'My Name Is Memory' should have been a 5 star book. It was beautifully written, and I was captivated by the journey of one man traveling through several lifetimes, trying to right the wrongs that he had inflicted upon his one true love. With each new life Daniel was given, I followed him on the search for his "Sophia," and found myself hoping that this time would be "the time" that he would finally have her.

There was a bit of back-and-forth in the timeline, as well as age differences that didn't match up (he'd be much older or younger than his love in some of the lifetimes), which vaguely reminded me of 'The Time Traveler's Wife.' However, this book transitioned much smoother and I never found myself confused like I did sometimes in TTW.

I was unable to find anything wrong with this book, up until the last two pages. Rarely do I mind open endings if they're done right - leaving you with some sort of assurance that things will be resolved in the end. This book was an example of the wrong kind of open ending.

It isn't fair that such a great book had such an unresolved ending. Had this been a first book in a series, this is what would have been called a cliffhanger, which would have been no big deal because there would have been a book 2 to look forward to. Unfortunately, this one appears to be a stand-alone, which makes me sad.

*edit* As of right now, book 2 is in limbo. If a book 2 does eventually happen, I will revise my review to reflect a more positive outlook.
Profile Image for ~Calliope~.
238 reviews373 followers
January 31, 2023
“Love who you love while you have them. That's all you can do. Let them go when you must. If you know how to love, you'll never run out.”

“Love demands everything, they say, but my love demands only this: that no matter what happens or how long it takes, you`ll keep faith in me, you`ll remember who we are, and you`ll never feel despair.”

“You have been with me from the very first life. You are my first memory every time, the single thread in all of my lives. It`s you who makes me a person.”

3 reviews1 follower
September 4, 2010
Brashares took a fantastic and intriguing idea and ruined it.

Here are the ways this story is pathetic:

- Brashares has the freedom to put her characters in any time period, location, and situation, yet she never gives Daniel and Lucy a convincing love story. There's absolutely no substance or reason to their attraction.
- Such as their first encounter. A simple view of this girl, and Daniel is ready to spend miserable lifetime after miserable lifetime being, well, miserable because he can't be with a girl he found...beautiful. That's it.
- But on the other hand, neither character is particularly interesting, so maybe there's not much more to find attractive. Daniel = brooding, obsessive, quick to cry, and likely to quit when things get difficult. Lucy = submissive, passive, equally obsessive, and lacks concern for anyone other than a boy she barely knows.
- Even more disappointing is Brashare's equally obsessive antagonist. I hate flat antagonists. Give them a reason, a history, to be complete a--es. Irrational hatred is annoying in real life and even more so in books.
- The sexual tension is pathetic and unnecessary. Daniel and Lucy wait thousands of years to finally do the deed, and then they make themselves wait even longer for no reason whatsoever. At what they believe is the end of these lives, lives where their souls have finally met some sort of harmony, they decide they'd rather talk about death and how nice it'd be to have sex again rather than just enjoy this moment.
- So how do we make this solitary nookie session even more dramatic: why, a pregnancy of course! It is a known fact, after all, that ovulation is most likely to occur then a woman has one shot to consummate a tragic love affair.
- Also pathetic: Daniel's attempt at wooing Lucy after the senior dance. For a young man who remembers thousands of years of experiences, you'd think he'd have at least an inkling of how to woo the girl he fancies. Perhaps a movie, a picnic, dinner out. Even the most relationship-stupid boy or girl will agree that calling someone the wrong name, insisting both parties were reincarnated, professing a love that has lasted over multiple lifetimes, semi-violently ripping off the love interest's clothes and leaving him/her half naked and half drunk, and denying you're crazy after all of this is not at top of the "fool-proof ways to win the girl/boy of your dreams" list.
- I can't stand when characters make a resolution harder than it needs to be. If Lucy is going to be so safe with the monks, why can't Daniel go with her? At least for a little while. If he's going to ship Lucy to a foreign country and culture, away from her family, friends and him, the least he can do is accompany her for just a little bit. I think he likes to make life difficult and depressing.
- And get over the fact that you killed her. You were just doing your job. She doesn't remember it anyway. Plus, you didn't force her back into the house. The idiot went back in of her own volition.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Jenny Maloney.
Author 3 books40 followers
April 28, 2011
Oh, I sure hope this is part of some kind of series because I was totally in love with this book until the end. And the end sooooo irritated me that I literally threw the book down. I don't do that. I love books. I love great stories. And I loved this story -- it's such a unique look at how a relationship functions.

Main character: Daniel, a dude who can remember his past lives. In love with: Sophia/Charlotte/Lucy, who cannot remember her past lives. Struggle: he needs her to remember him. Trouble: Joachim, former older brother who tends to torture/kill Daniel whenever he can and follows D throughout history. See what I mean? This is a killer set-up. Awesome in its creativity. Fun to read for three hundred of the three-hundred and five pages...but then it falls flat...on a cliffhanger....

Say it with me: Augh!

I haven't been able to find out if this is a series a la Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants so if someone knows that it is, please let me know so that I can revise my opinion and eagerly await said sequel.

***Addendum: This is the first in a trilogy, apparently. My stars have been adjusted accordingly and I look forward to the next installment! (I'm still a little irked at the ending.)

Place For The Stolen
Under Ground Writing Project
Profile Image for Elyse Walters.
4,010 reviews599 followers
August 3, 2017

Oh this was trip!!!! Writing an abbreviated review will be a challenge here for me. Logically speaking I shouldn't have like this book....but I did.

"Sense 8", ( the T.V. Series-which I LOVE), meets "Life after Life", by Kate Atkinson, (which I didn't love).
In "Life After Life", Ursula died so many times -ongoing endless repetition deaths - was often like nails-on-a chalkboard irritating.
In "My Name Is Memory", Daniel has died many times also --but he travels through centuries and around the world...and we travel with him. His unique talent is that he can remember his past lives and the woman he's loved through them all.

This 'is' a love story. Ann Brashares creates an enchanting romantic world.... that's a little bit whimsical... yet believable in its own way- as the characters are irresistible.

Credit definitely goes to author, Ann Brashares. In less talented hands, I may have sent this novel back to the library without finishing it. It kept building and getting better-and better- leaving us with a cliff hanging tale at the end.

I'll leave you with a question: "why do people love their memories and what they have lost......
but forget to love wholeheartedly what is right in front of them"?

*Lisi.... Thanks, I finally read this book that you've told me about for years.... which 'you' loved. See you and Ken in 2 weeks.

Profile Image for TheRachelMonster.
59 reviews28 followers
November 6, 2019

Are you kidding me?!

I'm still expecting Ashton Kutcher to pop out of my closet to declare I've been punk’d.

This could have easily been a 5-star book if not for the ending. I've never been so dissatisfied!

Yes, I still give it 4 stars because it was brilliantly written, romantic, emotionally gripping. I loved the characters and the overall story that was told here...again, up until like the last two pages. Seriously? Would it have hurt Brashares to add, I don't know, thirty more pages to clear things up?

I'm normally open to, well, open-endings. But this? This ending literally made me growl my displeasure with its lack of closure. It should be illegal to end a book this way. WHY?!

Okay, I'm ranting. Did I like this book? I loved it. I would have loved it more though *shakes fists towards the heavens*. Would I recommend this book to others? Sure, if you're okay with a cliffhanger that leaves you with a ton of unanswered questions that will probably NEVER be answered since it seems this is a standalone novel. *sigh*.

If only it had been wrapped up properly...this could have been perfection. *facepalm*

UPDATE : So, apparently this is the first book in a trilogy, so now I'm mostly okay with the cliffhanger, haha. Guess I overreacted.

Due to dwindling sales, the publisher decided not to push for a sequel. Looks like there shall be no closure for us...

2019 UPDATE!!: She’s working on the sequel y’all!!!
Profile Image for Carrie Chaney.
184 reviews34 followers
August 18, 2010
My Name is Memory is a love story unlike any I have ever known. Ann Brashares unravels her tale a bit at a time and toys with her audience much like a cat bats a ball of yarn. We are tossed to and fro throughout the ages clinging to the memories of Daniel -- a soul who is both blessed and cursed with the incredbile ability to remember all of his many lives as he is reincarnated over centuries.

Daniel's stories pull us into the ancient worlds of Northern Africa and Crete, to the not-so-distant past of war-torn England during the first world war, and finally into the modern east coast of the US. His accounts are tethered by the same forces that have always driven the human race: love and vengeance.

In each of his lives Daniel strives to find Sophia, his first love and original sin. By turn of fate, he succeeds in finding her many times over the long years only to lose her to some uncompromising circumstance. Once she is his brother's wife, another time she is old enough to be his grandmother, but always she is oblivious to their deep history. Apart from these obstacles, Daniel is also pursued by Joaquim, a corrupt soul seeking twisted retribution for old offenses.

Brashares entangles her audience so well that by the end of her novel the world appears changed. Her splendidly planned tale leaves us with the vivid and heavy impression that what goes around comes around, and not always in our favor. I am thrilled to have found this novel that is truly new: completely unlike anything I have ever read. Her words are placed beautifully and with care. Her characters are made not only of paper and ink, but of flesh and blood. Brashares' second break from young adult fiction is blessedly actually written for adults. With the language and finesse of a master storyteller, and an imaginitive, intellectually stimulating plot, this novel is one to place among your most esteemed.
Profile Image for MizzSandie.
337 reviews351 followers
January 17, 2017

there is no gif for these things that i am feeling

This book was EVERYTHING and more.
ill never forget it, its imprinted on my memory, for the rest of my life
It has left my brain stunned at it's utter genious, which is why this review probably wont be very coherent, but who am I kidding? there is no way I could caption this brilliance that is this book anyway.

So I wont say much I will just say this:

From the very first pages I was encaptured by this book - loving the writing, and intrigued by the story. And as the story moved along, spinning pieces together, I just fell in love with it. Madly. Deeply.

Felt real to me. They werent flawless, they made mistakes, had regrets, and they grew . I could very much relate to them, and both Lucy and Daniel had my respect and support. I felt I was loving, learning and agonising right along side with them.

i ship them so hard
Well-built, realistic and not overly romantised. Lucy and Daniel hasnt met or hooked up in every life, and there are a lot of conflicted feelings involved. But it still swept me off my feet.

Very well-crafted. I found Daniels perceptions about reincarnation, life and death very inspirering and resonant, and again the whole world and the people in it - BEN!! :) Joaquim :( - just all rang true for me, reeling me in.
On this note I'll just mention the ending which has been a frustration to many. This book has a very open ending, leaving you thinking there will/should be a sequel. And I think that's how Ann Brashares originally planned it.
Whether it is going to happen, still seems to be up in the air, from what I can gather from google. Something about approval from the publishers play into it, it seems. So it's not a lack of will.
As much as I wish there was a guarantee of a sequel, the open ending, didnt ruin the experience for me. Couldn't.
It was too good.
I wouldnt have missed out on this book for the world. And I dont think any of you guys should let it discourage you either. Just know that all strings wont be ties up in the end, and you will be left begging for more, and that if we are lucky, our wish might be granted! I sure hope so, 'cause I am addicted, to this story, these characters and this world Ann Brashares has build.

Wonderful. Made me feel, see and hear everything that was going on inside and outside the characters and this world and made it all very relatable.
I kept hearing Adele's 'Dont you remember' http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UkM6Uq... over and over in my head while reading this, the lyrics are like scarily on point, and it's such an emotional song, that just really embodies how I imagine Daniel is feeling. I dont think I'll ever be able to listen to that song without thinking of this book. Which I dont mind, at all :)

Now go read it. GO! :)

just leave me to obsess over fictional characters
Profile Image for Erin .
1,275 reviews1,198 followers
June 23, 2019
2.5 Stars
Romance A Thon: New Adult Romance
Summer A Thon: A Beachy Read

Well....That was anticlimactic

The entire time I was reading this book I thought I would give it 3- 3.5 Stars because I was enjoying it and I totally shipped this couple.

Then it ended. I mean the book just ended out of no where. The entire last 100 pages was leading up to this showdown between two particular characters ( no spoilers) and then right when we were getting to that, the book just ends.


Ann Brashares couldn't have written another 30 pages?

Why introduce this showdown, if we weren't gonna get to see it play out?

I'm annoyed!
Profile Image for Grace A..
412 reviews37 followers
September 18, 2022
Wow! Loved every minute of it. I was sucked into the many lives of Daniel and Sophia (Lucy). Longing, waiting, and rooting for their love for each other to cross over their many lifetimes after centuries of roadblocks.
It was a beautiful read. Five stars.
Profile Image for Christina Loeffler.
143 reviews17.3k followers
June 27, 2018
No big deal, that blubbering heap over there is just me after finishing My Name Is Memory trying to put my heart back together.

I've been on the hunt for a sweet romance to lighten up the thriller / suspense trip I've been on and this couldn't have been a better choice. I won't reiterate the synopsis but Daniel and Lucy's story is a beautifully heart-breaking one. The POVs switch between Daniel and Lucy and follow them throughout all of their many lives. Daniel who is able to remember those lives and continually fights to find Lucy and Lucy who continually forgets with each rebirth.

I loved this story for many reasons, but my favorite was perhaps that while there have been many books on love that lasts through the ages this one managed to be unique and exciting none-the-less. While we are rooting for Daniel and Lucy, Brashares does an excellent job outlining the heartbreak and loneliness of continually searching for someone and the alienation of remembering and wanting to hold on to who you were instead of becoming who you are.

I'm not really a believer in "soul-mates" or "the-one" (despite my love of romance in novels) and I found it refreshingly real that Daniel felt the same despite the basis of this story being his ties to another soul. Snappy the pigeon was perhaps the saddest part for me and he was an excellent, albeit short part of the novel that I think deserves mention.

This was a heart-warming story, and the growth of the characters over their many lives - especially present day was wonderful to read. Based on the ending I would really hope there's some kind of sequel eventually because cliff-hanger endings are not my favorite. I'll leave this with a few of my favorite quotes because there were so many swoon worthy moments throughout:

It was back then, as a child in the eighth century, that I allowed myself to suffer how jarringly destructive the present feels and how fragile the past. The present is over quickly, you might say, and it is, but man, it goes like a wrecking ball.

All I could think to do was love her. That's all a person can do.

In my shameless heart, I've always hoped that Sophia and I would become whole together. I hate that phrase (along with the term "soul mates"), but I can't think of a better way to say it. *same*

Love who you love while you have them. That's all you can do. Let them go when you must. If you know how to love, you'll never run out.

He didn't try to organize it or record it for the long future. This was what he had. It not only mattered, it mattered the most. He kissed her with everything, because loving a person was all you could do.
Profile Image for Jonetta.
2,243 reviews968 followers
February 23, 2016
Daniel has the ability to remember each of his past lives as he reincarnates into the next. With each new life, he seeks to find a young woman he is haunted by from his first life, Sophia. However, Sophia, in her reincarnation, doesn't always remember him. Until Lucy.

I listened to this as an audiobook with the most top notch narration I've ever heard. This book is a complicated story, made so by the transitions back and forth between the present day and past lives. Two narrators were used, which helped immensely. The story is compelling and allows you to consider the possibility of this type of after-life without imposing the viewpoint. I loved the characters and the build up to the end, which isn't neatly wrapped.

A beautiful story...well done.
Profile Image for Trina (Between Chapters).
872 reviews3,756 followers
Shelved as 'did-not-finish'
July 23, 2018
DNF at 35 %.

Not into this at all! Sounded interesting, but I couldn't connect. I've heard this has a non-ending, and I didn't want to stick it out in a story where I wasn't enjoying the beginning or the middle just to get a lackluster ending.

I was listening to the audiobook and for one thing, the narrators sounded much too old for the characters they were portraying. For another, I really did not like how Brashares switched from first person to third person. Daniel would narrate his past lives in first person, and then you'd have all the present story being told in third person that followed both Lucy AND Daniel, so you have his viewpoint being told in two different ways and I just hated it. Plus, there was truly no need for 2 narrators because with this constant narrative flipping, you were getting his story narrated by both of them. Both the writing choices and the audio production were messy.

The idea of soulmates from past lives finding each other throughout time is so intriguing and romantic on paper, but it has huge potential to come off as possessive. With Lucy not being aware of her past lives, it read very much (so far) like she 'belonged' to Daniel without her consent.

Not for me.
Profile Image for raya (a little mango).
66 reviews34 followers
July 12, 2015
What a disappointing companion this book makes! A frightening familiarity hit as I read from page to page, and I realized: it reminds me of Twilight. I don't enjoy tossing Stephenie Meyer's name around every time the topic of poor writing surfaces, but her ability is among the most prominently weak that I've encountered in a crazy spectrum of good and bad writing. Truly, I am surprised Lucy did not convince herself that Daniel is a vampire, but thank the universe that Lucy has a brain. Or maybe half a brain.

Daniel possesses "The Memory," or in other words: he retains memory of each past life. In all lives, Daniel spends every waking moment thinking about or searching for Sophia—the great, one true love of his life. Or lives, I should say, which would not be a problem if she remembered, too. Well, unfortunately, she doesn't. Sophia either winds up with another man or no one at all, but never with Daniel. Their "love" story dates back to the year 541, but I would say it doesn't begin until 773 when Daniel's brother, Joaquim, introduces his wife: Sophia. (Dun dun duuun!) Joaquim plays the antagonist—nothing more than a factor next to fate to keep Daniel and Sophia (the now present-day Lucy) separated. What more is there to this story? Daniel pining for Sophia to remember him, Sophia panicking, Sophia thinking Daniel is nuttier than an Almond Joy, Sophia questioning her sanity, Daniel tediously narrating his past lives... Uh, snore. Did I leave anything out?

I know myself and reading taste well enough to understand that “chick lit” is not for me. That doesn't mean I'm always inclined to dislike a romance novel if it is indeed enjoyable. Give it a unique story to tell, and—if well-written—I'll feel pleasantly surprised. My Name is Memory is not a book I would have even thought to touch, but then someone compared it to The Time Traveler's Wife. Okay, so, until the day comes when I read Niffenegger's book, I simply say: "Hey, I like that movie!" I then gave My Name is Memory an acknowledgment nod, believing that potential for something exceptional was living inside its pages. So, that is why I decided to befriend Brashares' newest work—a mistake on my part. Obviously, I cannot compare Brashares' and Niffenegger's writing styles and comprehend what compels people to make the comparison. All I can say is that My Name is Memory has a cliché sitting on each page, whether it serves as a plot device or to express a character's feelings, and the book is all tell (no show).

I would readily rate this at two, perhaps even three, stars if I didn't find the writing monotonous and the backstory uneventful. The truth is it isn't romantic but utterly dull—so dull, in fact, that when I reached the last word I felt like pumping my fists up in victory. I had done it! I read the book! Woo-hoo. I feel like I deserve an award for reading this, because it was no easy task since Brashares gives zero hints that she's a capable writer. I read reviews, and people say it's elegantly written but I disagree. What is so elegant about "The Knee/Crotch Scene"? It's as exciting as the book gets:

They were sitting knees to knees, pressing them together, so when he split his legs hers went right through until they were practically joined. Her knee was nearly in his crotch, and his was in hers. Her knee was bare, and his knee was deep under her dress, pressed against her underwear, and her nerves were thrumming. She had a feeling of disbelief. She was suspicious that her imagination was choreographing this out of pure desire and that it wasn't really happening.

"Have you?" he asked. She suddenly knew, just knew, that he was soaking her in, that he was as parched as she was.

He reached out and put his hand on the back of her neck and pulled her forward. She drew in her breath, astonished that he would put his mouth on hers. He kissed her. She lost herself in his breath and his warmth and his smell.

Am I supposed to laugh, groan, or empty my stomach? I spy a million irksome things in Brashares' writing—and that is not including how silly or cheesy I find this excerpt. To think, I’ve read YA novels with more romantic pizzazz and better descriptions, so imagine my difficulty in viewing this as an adult novel.

It's no spoiler to reveal that Daniel confronts Sophia in hopes that she remembers him—this happens early on. The man practically ambushes her in a dark, empty chemistry lab, because it's not like that won't scare Sophia off, uh-huh. Of course, she doesn’t—and can't—open up immediately (because what sane person would?), but the story would never go anywhere if she didn't remember something. That's when Sophia sees Esme, a psychic. Goodness, can't say didn't I see that coming. And what kind of mystical nonsense does Esme tap into? Nothing I didn't predict. Esme is one of several pushes Sophia needs to make her believe Daniel, and in consequence, the entire set-up is an eyesore of sad anticipation and contrived plot.

Characters, in effect, come across as blank, uninteresting, and present very little to no variety in terms of personality and development. I'm surprised. By stretching the protagonists' love story through centuries, Brashares has several opportunities to make Sophia's and Daniel's connection special. Instead, the origin of Daniel's attraction to Sophia weighs heavily on the fact that he found her beautiful at first glance. Shortly after was the first time Sophia died... in a fire. That Daniel started. Ouch, the guilt! Feeling responsible and sorry for causing her death plays into Daniel's connection, but it always comes back to Sophia's physical beauty or their "lusting." Even when the couple are in danger of being shot at, their discussion centers on sex half the time:

"It's not the outfit I would have picked for our reunion, but I admit it's easy to get in and out of." She couldn't quite believe that they were still lusting after each other.

Me neither.

I am disappointed and fed up with these characters and their "love." This is not a love story. Had Sophia connected to Daniel more than once or twice on a deeper level, had there been sincerity and stronger, intimate emotions that didn't fade out after one lifetime, then perhaps it could be.

155 reviews
June 27, 2010
This is a great book that I enjoyed reading a lot.

At first I was taken aback by the similarities with Fallen (storyline and names), not in the sense that they copied on each other, but in the sense "what are the odds to use the same names?". So I've been doing some research on the names (yes, I am that geeky) and haven't found anything relevant so I'm still very curious about it if anyone has an explanation (there is *nothing* like a mystery to keep you up at night - I so don't believe in coincidences).

I find the whole concept of Daniel keeping his memory one life through the other to be fascinating. And yes I have been imagining my previous lives: I can only come up with rock star, witch and suffragette. I find all the historical parts extremely interesting, I love it when books offer a historical perspective to some situations, it gives characters a certain insight on the events, and this book is absolutely amazing for this.

I find that there has been a clear effort on words, rhythm and the musicality of sentences. Though the story is quite slow in its evolution, I found that it fits perfectly with the pace set by the storytelling. I'm not sure if I explain it right, but I found the writing very impressive compared to the paranormal romance stories I've read lately.

I liked the character of Daniel and how he dealt with his memory in opposition to Ben. I'm not saying that he is right or that it is the best way (I prefer Ben's way) but I find his point of view and his doubts interesting to read. I absolutely adore the character of Ben. He is amazingly (as in, shrouded in mystery just like I love my characters in books!) and there is so much meaning behind its different incarnations that it was a real pleasure to read his small appearances in the story.

I like the role of women in the story: Lucy/Sophia/Constance are different, yet very much alike, characters, and they have such a profound effect on Daniel. I particularly liked reading about one of Daniel's latest mother, Molly and the relation they had, or more precisely hadn't, with each other.

I know the most important point of the book is the romance, and even though I enjoyed the love story at first, I got a little tired with it and I am more interested in the other aspects of the book.

I have to admit that towards the ends I have fallen a little out of the story. I'm not getting the whole Joaquim (Daniel's brother) thing, may it be his vengeance or how he reincarnates.
I am also a bit surprised about the ending. I'm assuming that a sequel is in the works, otherwise I just don't get the ending at all.

So all in all I thoroughly enjoyed a large part of the book, and I think that the language used, the memory/reincarnation plot and the general tone of the book are incredible, but some tiny details towards the end tend to bring a bit more reservations from me.

If there *is* a sequel though, I will most definitely read it to understand better the whole concept of memory which I found absolutely fascinating.
Profile Image for Cammie.
362 reviews12 followers
April 10, 2020
My Name Is Memory is the unique and emotional love story between Daniel and Lucy that literally spans centuries. Daniel has the special ability to remember his past lives, and in most of them, he has found the same girl, Lucy though she has been known by other names.
This historical fantasy novel weaves through Daniel's many lives from 541 in North Africa to Asia Minor 773 to England 1918 to 1968 in Hinesville, Georgia to present day (2009) Virginia.
Daniel's journey through so many lifetimes and enduring so many deaths is heartbreaking and beautiful. His quest in each life is the same girl--"Sophia."
My Name Is Memory is an intriguing romance that is believable and fantastical at the same time. The many settings that are included add much depth to the uniqueness of this "time-traveling" narrative as well.
While the ending was a bit stunning, I think I like the openness for reader interpretation, and I can only hope that there is a sequel to come some day.
Profile Image for Karen.
1,406 reviews200 followers
September 3, 2023
What must it be like to look for the love of your life over many lifetimes?

Will she finally recognize you and want to be with you?

A delicious story - fantastical - and amazing at the same time!

I recommend it highly.
Profile Image for Samantha Oledan.
176 reviews54 followers
November 9, 2011
-------My complete review (updated)---------

As I said in my previous review of this book, I didn’t like the story. I felt depressed, tired and alone the entire time that I was reading it. I don’t know if it was because of how the story goes or it was just because I am a shallow person who couldn’t appreciate this kind of plot. Either way, I’m still entitled to my own opinion, so here goes my review:

1. At first I got attracted by this book because of its cover. There was something mysterious with the theme, the color and by the picture of a girl emoting in the middle of nowhere, just like what got me into reading Lauren Kate’s Fallen . Then I read the summary at the back and I got surprised because the plot was strangely similar to Fallen: star-crossed lovers who got separated again and again and again for how many centuries. The boy knows the girl but the girl does not remember the boy but feels a strange connection to him. Another weird similarity was that the guys from both books were called Daniel. The name of the girl in Fallen was Luce, while the girl in Memory was called Lucy which sounded like the former. So out of curiosity I decided to buy the book. I wanted to know if they really have the same plot.

2. I was bored even at the start. I thought it was just a matter of getting the feel of the story so I continued reading it. I got turned off at the part where Lucy and Daniel had their first ever conversation inside a dark classroom while the whole school was in chaos (there was a crime scene outside). They barely knew each other but Lucy allowed Daniel to kiss her while his knee was nearly inside her dress and her own knee almost touching his crotch (not verbatim, but that was how it was described in the book). Sure, Daniel knew her from many lives, but Lucy had no memory of that so technically she barely knew him. I don’t think it’s proper to have a make-out session with someone you don’t know even a little back ground. Well, I don’t know if this is how people do it in other places, but I came from a pretty conservative country and things like this offend me somehow.

3. How could you fall in love with someone you just caught a glimpse of while they were trapped inside a burning house, even if you were the one who accidentally caused it? If that happened to me I would surely feel guilty, angry and ashamed of myself. But to fall in love immediately? I don’t think so. Daniel kept on searching for Lucy (Sophia in her past life) every life cycle he had to ask for forgiveness and he kept on insisting that they love each other. Sure, asking for forgiveness is acceptable, but saying that you love each other in your past life is kind of creepy.

4. I think the only sensible and likable character in the story was Ben. Like Daniel, he had the Memory that lives on and on even in his succeeding lives. He said that Daniel should learn to let go of the past so he could appreciate his present life. It would be so much easier not only for him, but for the people around him. Ben changes his physical shell (he could be a male in one life cycle and became a female on the next) and his entire self every time he was reborn to adapt to his new environment and new family. But Daniel kept his old self, not his physical body but he always ended up as a male, and he always insisted that his new parents name him Daniel because he wanted Sophia to recognize him. I really like what Ben said when he became a girl in one of his lives, that he just go with the flow and accept his new life so it wouldn’t be hard for his new mother. Daniel, on the other hand, took his lives for granted because he knew that he’d get another one and he just focused on finding Sophia.

5. I really, really, really hated the part where he took his own life with the hopes of being reborn again with Sophia (perhaps within the same age range). He said that in that life he had the best family, especially the best mother, but still took it for granted. He even said that he didn’t allow her mother to love him so much nor him to get attached to her so neither of them would be hurt when death comes. He wasted that opportunity to have a good life, a good family, a healthy and not nearly-dying body just to follow someone who didn’t even recognize him. He even knew that there could be a possibility that he might not be reborn again. Then on his current life, he returned to the place where he used to live in his past life and he saw his past mother weeping at his old body’s grave. He felt so bad and regretted leaving his old life untimely.

6. I only got excited at the parts where the present time was being told, and it was on the last parts of the book. But then I lost my interest again while they were trapped in the island with Daniel's past-life brother who was taking revenge on them. It was supposed to be an intense, heart-pounding moment and they should be running for their lives, but instead they kept on thinking about making love in between planning for their get-away. I didn’t feel the adrenaline rush. The excitement that was about to build up instantly crashed down. The story wasn’t able to sustain the climax.

7. The ending was… blah! BITIN!!! It wasn’t really a happy ending. Not that somebody died or something bad happened, but it’s just that… nothing really happened. There was no conclusion. Lucy was pregnant and she was living among the monks while Daniel was far away, in who knows where. After centuries of searching for each other, or rather, Daniel searching for Lucy, they didn’t even end up together. It was not because they broke up, but because Daniel decided to hunt for his past-brother to stop him from harming them again. Well, probably, there ought to be a sequel that's why the ending was hanging. But I definitely won't be reading it!!!

After reading My Name is Memory , I conclude that it was definitely not like Lauren Kate’s Fallen. They totally have different plots. I even enjoyed reading Fallen even if the protagonist was annoyingly boy-dependent. But in this book, I never had any feel-good moments. I couldn’t even justify to myself why I bought this book.

Well, on the good side, I really appreciate Ben’s thoughts about life, but that’s it.

------Incomplete review after reading the book-----
I was torn between giving this book a 2 or 3 star-rating. I felt so tired reading this book. For me, it was not a feel-good story. Complete review to follow.

-------- My comment before reading the book-------
When I saw this in National Bookstore I thought it was a new edition of Lauren Kate's Fallen because of the cover. They both posessed that gothic feel, with an emo girl. Then I read the description at the back, and I was shocked to know that the main guy was named Daniel, just like in Fallen. Then I read the summary here in GR and found out that the main girl was named Lucy, which was very close to Fallen's Luce. And I have a feeling that they both have the same theme in terms of reincarnation, the boy knows the girl from their many past lives, but the girl doesn't rememeber him but feels an unexplainable attraction to him.

Well, I don't know for sure. I'm so curious about this book so I think I'm going to read this sometime.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Amy.
825 reviews20 followers
June 11, 2010
I started out really enjoying this book. However, the last 1/4 of the book ruined it for me. Brashares made it too long of a process of Lucy and Daniel finally meeting up again (the near misses and being miserable without each other for so long was just not necessary). THEN she brings in the whole section of the brother...which I found fascinating when he was just returning into Daniel's life as a villain and thought the whole triangle relationship storyline from the beginning was intriguing...but she lost me when the brother starts "shapeshifting". The ending was just tacked on with no thought other than "I'll turn this into a trilogy." Superhuman strength in swimming....together long enough to finally be intimate. This book could have stood alone, period, if Brashares would have taken the time to fully develop the ending. A triology could be made from the future lives of the characters...at least give us some closure on Lucy and Daniel. I will say it has the potential for a great movie.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Ivana S..
133 reviews53 followers
July 6, 2015

Very interesting and well written book.

When I first saw the blurb, I was not interested in reading the whole thing (reincarnation, Daniel, Lucy... it reminded me of another book I did not like so much), but then my friend said some good things about it and I decided to give it a try anyway. I was pleasantly surprised.

Characters are nicely developed and likable.
Daniel is really great. He talks about love so much and still sounds like a man, he is not pathetic or too dramatic like many other male characters these days. I enjoyed reading about all of his memories and wouldn't mind to read more.
Lucy is also great and very interesting. I could understand her confusion and I was chearing for her to learn the truth.
They have a perfect chemistry together and their love story is one of the best I had a privilege to read about.

In short: the story is lovely, characters are likable and interesting, the writing is more than good and I am looking forward to read the next book by Ann Brashares.
Profile Image for Marieke | Marieke's Books.
562 reviews118 followers
October 26, 2018
Ik twijfel een beetje tissen 2 en 3 sterren.. Het verhaal kwam heel langzaam op gang en was sommige momenten gewoon echt saai. Maar tegen het einde vond ik het verhaal wel weer beter, maar toen kwam het einde en dat viel weer heel erg tegen.

Ik had hoge verwachtingen van dit boek, maar helaas!
Profile Image for BLynne.
171 reviews15 followers
June 9, 2022
Daniel is a person who happens to remember his past lives and he's reincarnated over a huge span of time. Lucy in this current life is known to him as Sophia - someone he loves. Lucy is not able to remember her past lives at first and becomes scared of Daniel until an experience with a psychic and another one with a hypnotist helps her to remember at least one or two past lives. I enjoyed this book but found myself having some issues with the ending.
Profile Image for Dwayne.
143 reviews29 followers
June 28, 2010
Reviewed @ Girls Without a Bookshelf.

I read quite a lot of romance, and I do like most of them, but occasionally I find one that can easily outclass the rest. My Name is Memory is in huge contention for the most romantic book I have ever laid hands on.

The story of Daniel is one that is both fascinating and unnerving. I found the concept of reincarnation common enough, but to carry the memory of it all - both a gift and a curse to our hero - is a fresh albeit as intriguing twist to the idea. The complexity of Daniel's memory is engaging and intensely captivating, and as more of his history is introduced I was felt I was being enlightened to a philosophical, cosmic law. I was curious as to how the plot would present the concept of reincarnation and the accompanying memory - I did have a lot of questions but these has been more or less seen to in the course of the plot.

The novel is in alternate chapters of past and present. Through Daniel's account, readers glimpse his - and Lucy's/Sophia's - history. Images of the past were new and exciting to me. I cannot comment on the accuracy of the depictions but I am pretty satisfied and as Daniel is more thoughts than acts it is really his reflections which captivated me.I looked forward to each chapter of Daniel's narration and history while reading the present events and looked forward to the present while I was immersed in each of Daniel's chapters. Once I started reading, I almost haven't stopped.

Daniel is certainly the mostnotable character. It is easy to feel - yes, feel - him in every page. His character is thoughful, reflective, almost self-less. He carries in his narration the words of a man who has lived a hundred lives, and this I felt is what drew me most to his character. It was as if a tangible Daniel has written those accounts himself; the emotions and anguish were so raw, his love for Lucy pervades his every word. It is worth noting, I think, that whilst Daniel is unquestionably in love with Lucy, he lives each of his life as his own person. Whilst Lucy is also a developed character, I find the balance tilted more towards Daniel. In a way, I think the latter surpasses many of the characters I have come to admire; there is respectability and a sort of magnetic admirability in Daniel that I rarely, if ever, find in others.

Now, if that was not enough, the twist in the plot had me gasping, squealing and racing to find out what happens next. It was incredible. The suspense was almost heartbreaking; I wasn't quite sure how everything would fall in place!

And while the ending(or lack thereof) was impossibly vague, it was not frustrating at all. I was still basking in the intensity of Daniel and Lucy's love to be frustrated about anything at all. I absolutely adore this novel. I could not get enough, and whilst I'm not sure if there will be a sequel, I damn well hope so.

I still re-read my favourite parts and am yet to determine how to untangle myself from this novel. It's impossible not to fall in love with it!

My Name is Memory is beautiful,beautiful novel. Written exceedingly well, with magnetic characters and with a romance that took my breath - and my heart - away, it is easily the most romantic novel I have read as of late.
Profile Image for Nomes.
384 reviews373 followers
August 3, 2010
At first I wasn't sure if I would read it all - the first chapter, while definitely compelling, is pretty intense with the depth of romance and the soul mate connection thing and I wasn't sure if it was a too hard-core love story for my taste...

However, it swiftly moves along in chapters that not only alternate in POV, but also in time periods including ancient settings and exotic and varied locations around the world. While a lot of these chapters recounted the love and history between Daniel and Sophie (Lucy) they were not so focused on the love, but on the tragedy.

Reading Daniel's chapters had the feel of reading a fable and stories of old, lyrical and sometimes powerful. The writing had a lovely lilting feel to it.

What I liked:

The settings. Brashares really did an outstanding job of taking the story around the world and each time period felt authentic.

I loved the little stories of past lives, people long gone, often having lived a haunting tale. There were some moving anecdotes and scenes hidden in there.

The whole way she created her reincarnation-lore was pretty awesome and intriguing and it made a cool premise. Yeah, I think she pulled it off.
It's impressive, all she fit in, from war to ancient times to college and the early 1900's Each time period felt authentic and fresh.

What I would have liked:

Would it have been too much to add in a little humour of light-heartedness for some levity? After a while, I was all, 'this is so damn depressing'. Tragedy after haunted moment after fated circumstance and just-missed-it timing.

It's not a funny book. Okay, that's stating the obvious, but I seriously did not smile or laugh once. Okay, I may have smirked in a passionate moment, haha. What can I say, occasional melodrama amuses me. I always like to have a little smile every now and then while reading, just saying.

Towards the end, I felt Daniel's lives were all a blur of depression, he felt soul-weary and I can't think of things he enjoyed in life apart from thinking about Sophie and pining for her. He felt like he was narrating the tragedy's of his life. Was their love really that strong that everything pales in comparison? Although, he did occasionally impress me with glimpses of talent and every now and then he surprised me with something resembling a personality. Haha.

Why do hard-core romance books sometimes make me feel cynical? I should be ashamed of myself.

Recommended: If you love romance and haunting stories of ancient lives, this is definitely for you. Seriously, I can think of people who would love this. It's got the potential to have girls swooning over the tortured soul who loves his girl with his whole being to die for her (I am not being cynical here, really). Also, it's got a fabulous premise and is well written :)
Profile Image for Liliflaj.
475 reviews34 followers
July 24, 2018
Do you believe in reincarnation? This book is for those that believe!
When I started reading this book, I had the inexplicable feeling - deja vu. 'Hey, this is something what I was thinking! What the hell am I was in my Walk-lives? "
This is a beautiful story about two souls who are seeking for centuries and can not seem to find. He was her one accidentally killed, but her time so loved that a thousand and a half years looking for and died for it.
At present, they have finally found it, recognized it, only to a small trifle lucky breaks ... Read about it!
Profile Image for Ana.
513 reviews86 followers
June 1, 2017
Que livro tão lindo!! Uma história de amor e esperança que nos aquece o coração e nos faz sonhar com um amor eterno como o de Daniel e Lucy. Adorei!
Profile Image for Ioanna.
58 reviews67 followers
July 10, 2018
Αυτό το βιβλίο γιατί δεν έχει συνέχεια; Θα έπρεπε. Αφήνει πολλά αναπάντητα ερωτήματα.
Profile Image for rafaella.
95 reviews100 followers
Want to read
January 20, 2021
kinda wanted one where they didn’t get to even meet for many of their past lives but i hope it’s good nonetheless
Profile Image for Marijana☕✨.
498 reviews86 followers
March 29, 2023
*** o maj gaad ova knjiga dobija nastavak 😍😍😍😍 I u limbu je kao i njeni junaci 😂
Ann kaže na svoj sajtu: "The book’s original publisher declined to publish the sequel, and is disinclined to release the rights to the first book. I wish it were different, but I can understand their position. A few other potential publishers are disinclined to publish the sequel without having rights to the original book. Again, disappointing, but not unreasonable. So it remains in publishing limbo for now. If I cannot come up with an alternative route to print publication, I will release it as an ebook, and I am prepared (and eager) to give away a few hundred free downloads to my most eager and long-suffering readers."

Opet mi je teško da ocenim ovu knjigu - od prvog čitanja i prvog obožavanja je prošlo osam godina. Još uvek se vezujem za teme kojima se ona bavi: reinkarnacija i pronalaženje osoba u drugim životima. Smenjuju se dobro napisana i štura poglavlja, a i još uvek čekam nastavak, jer ga kraj u mojoj glavi prilično nagoveštava. Oh well...
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