My Name Is Memory

Paperback | June 7, 2011

byAnn Brashares

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The latest from Ann Brashares, the New York Times bestselling author of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, a magical story of reincarnation and a love that lasts more than a lifetime 

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. For all the times that he and Sophia have been connected throughout history, they have also been torn painfully, fatally, apart.

But just when Sophia (now "Lucy" in the present) finally awakens to the secret of their shared past, the mysterious force that has always separated them reappears. Ultimately, they must come to understand what stands in the way of their love if they are ever to spend a lifetime together.

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From the Publisher

The latest from Ann Brashares, the New York Times bestselling author of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, a magical story of reincarnation and a love that lasts more than a lifetime 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 al...

Ann Brashares is the author of the phenomenal five-million-copies-selling series of young adult novels, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, The Second Summer of the Sisterhood, Girls In Pants, and Forever in Blue, and the New York Times bestselling adult novel The Last Summer (of You and Me).

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:352 pages, 8.3 × 5.5 × 0.9 inPublished:June 7, 2011Publisher:Penguin Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1594485186

ISBN - 13:9781594485183

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Reviews

Rated 3 out of 5 by from 3.5 Rating. In the beginning and closer to the end the switching perspectives of the narration were somewhat hard to follow. I wish that this would have been more consistent. Once I got into the story, I did enjoy the numerous time periods Daniel took the reader though. There were several that I wasn’t familiar with and this book definitely peeked my interest in expanding the eras I read about. I would have enjoyed learning more about these time periods, but I realise that this wasn’t the point of the story. Unfortunately the ending didn’t really satisfy me, as I feel it didn’t wrap up all of the loose ends. Joaquim was Daniel’s brother in one of the most pivotal lives he lead, and also his enemy. I felt that this characters storyline wasn’t explained in very much detail, leaving him feeling very unattached to the storyline. This also made me feel like the book was taking more of a sci-fi turn; a genre that doesn’t really interest me. For this reason I rated it a 3.5 stars. Although I did have some issues with My Name is Memory, I would still recommend it to fans of Ann Brashares. I would also like to note that this book is listed as YA Lit, but I think that it would be best suited for more mature audiences due to language and some sexual content.
Date published: 2015-09-15
Rated 3 out of 5 by from 3.5 Rating. In the beginning and closer to the end the switching perspectives of the narration were somewhat hard to follow. I wish that this would have been more consistent. Once I got into the story, I did enjoy the numerous time periods Daniel took the reader though. Unfortunately the ending didn’t really satisfy me, as I feel it didn’t wrap up all of the loose ends. Although I did have some issues with My Name is Memory, I would still recommend it to fans of Ann Brashares. I would also like to note that this book is listed as YA Lit, but I think that it would be best suited for more mature audiences due to language and some sexual content.
Date published: 2015-09-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from MY FAVORITE BOOK!! Seriously, this is one of my very favorite books. I have read it twice already and loved it just as much the second time around. The story is loving and the concept is really interesting. I really hope the author gets to write a second novel (I think it was meant to be three). She has my vote!!
Date published: 2015-02-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of my favorite books I loved this book. Great storyline and amazing characters! Lots of action mixed with romance :)
Date published: 2014-07-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from It's a MUST READ novel! I read this book a year ago, and I CANNOT stop thinking about it. It has changed my view on incarnation and life. Although I don't believe that one will ever remember his past lives, but I do believe that one can recognize souls, and true love takes many lives to work out. This book is very inspiring and I am Looking forward to a 2nd one. I want to know if he will end up going back to her, or if he's gonna die, and they will have to find their way to each other in their next lives. This is  such a tease! 
Date published: 2014-03-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A lovely,haunting book. I enjoyed this view on life, death and reincarnation. It was easy to read, romantic, great for summer.
Date published: 2013-06-05
Rated 3 out of 5 by from A Pretty Good Book. I really did enjoy reading this book, however, I felt that I could not come to love this book. The concept is so riveting and unique, but I found the story to be a little slow. Also, I did not connect all that well with the characters which lead me to enjoy the plot, but not the overall story. I was amazed at how Anne Brashares crafted this novel. Her writing and the way in which the narration was carried out was very well done. Readers are given a chance to fly back and fourth through time and witness a love story that is unlike any other. I found it fascinating how we met one character, but saw him in multiple different places in the span of one hundred pages. I was in awe of the richness and depth that the plot held. Anne Brashares did a wonderful job of transporting us into different time periods while still being able to keep a tight grip on her plot. I just really wished that I could have connected with the characters and the plot a little more, if I had, this would be a five star book. Those of you who are fascinated with the idea of reincarnation, I really think this would be a fantastic book for you. At the same time, we read about a love story that tries to defy all logic and time. This is the story of one boy is determined to find the girl he met centuries ago. Daniel is one of our main characters. He has the incredible ability that allows him to remember all of his past lives. On the inside, he has been Daniel for centuries. He still remains the same because he can identify the reincarnations that took place. When he dies, he isn't gone for long. Daniel will then live in another century, just in a different body. His memories, feelings, identity, personality all remain intact . . . because he remembers them. We learn that Daniel is on a mission. One that requires him to find the girl he fell in love with. She was his first love. Daniel struggles to find the girl he met years ago and to see who she really is behind the body she has reincarnated into. The problem is, is that she cannot remember her past lives. Daniel's quest to find her becomes much more complicated as fate seems to tear them apart time after time. He must find her and deal with the fact that a man from the past has a plan of his own. Oblivious to their past lives, Sophia does not remember the boy who is in love with her. Daniel does whatever he can to fight fate, and be with Sophia before it's too late. 3.5/5 2011-040
Date published: 2012-08-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Strongly recommend This is my first Ann Brashares book, and I'm writing this only a few hours after I finished reading the book. What first brought me to this book was the cover, it is so beautiful. Don't judge a book by it's cover right? Well let me reassure you, you will not be disappointed by the story itself. One thing I loved about the Author, is how she ended each chapter with either a important or beautiful phrase or a beautiful quote by the characters. It takes me a lot to call something my ''favourite''. In a the things that I love, a few will only get to be more special and be labeled as my ''favourite''. So, this book will definitely be one of my favourite books for sure.
Date published: 2012-06-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from sounds alot like "fallen" by lauren kate "i haven't read the book yet, but the synopsis sounds alot like the book fallen by lauren kate which i have read. right up to the names of the characters. so i'm a little puzzled. below are the novels by lauren kate so if you want to take a look at them then go ahead." (unrated) well, it was really good after all and nothing like the fallen series by lauren kate. gave you a different outloook on life and it was really quite interessting. everything was well planned out and well developped and I loved Daniel as the main character. i could go on and on but you probably don't want to hear that. so definitively worth reading. the only critisism was that the ending was a little weak but other than that I loved it.
Date published: 2012-03-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Highly recommended ***MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS*** Let me start by saying that I really hope there is a sequel to this book. Let me also say that I have the worst memory in the world. My Name is Memory is quite a unique book. The main character is Daniel and he can recall all of his past lives. His love interest comes back in each life but he has to get her to remember him since they’ve lived so many lives together. The back and forth between lives is very reminiscent of Audrey Niffinegger’s The Time Traveler’s Wife, but that’s where the comparison ends. Brashares’s characters are crafted with care and the majority of the book flows pleasingly. While My Name is Memory deals with reincarnation, it is a girl book, through and through. Sophie is Daniel’s one true love and he would do anything to get her to remember him, though sometimes the circumstances aren’t the best (i.e. in some lives she’s a grandmother, or she’s too young, or she’s married to someone else). Ann Brashares is a great writer (I honestly look forward to reading anything she puts out) and this book is no exception. Highly recommended!
Date published: 2012-01-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Beautiful What first grabbed me about this book was essentially the back cover; so often I feel the need to read 5 pages in to get a good sense of whether it's my type of book or not. There are hundreds of love stories out there but I had yet to come across one that spanned centuries in this such a way. Daniel has the Memory, a rare ability to remember every single one of his past lives with total clarity. He's been around since the 6th century, AD. While the book takes place in the present, every other chapter recalls a past life of his, where he was living, what happened, etc. Throughout almost all of these lives, he seems only to live for finding Sophia. He's a lovable character, which is something I need in order to keep interest and the book is written with poignant insight and care. Reincarnation is a core subject in this book and whether you believe in it or not, it will have you wondering whether you yourself have lived past lives and what traits, scars or fears you've brought over with you into this life. There was only maybe 1 or 2 things I was a bit disappointed in with the story (I won't spoil it) but overall I really enjoyed everything about it. I recommend it!
Date published: 2011-08-15

Extra Content

Bookclub Guide

INTRODUCTIONDaniel 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.ABOUT ANN BRASHARESAnn Brashares is the New York Times bestselling author of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, The Second Summer of the Sisterhood, Girls in Pants, and Forever in Blue, and the adult novel The Last Summer (of You and Me). She lives in New York.DISCUSSION QUESTIONSMy Name is Memory unfolds in chapters alternating between Daniel and Lucy's voices. What did you think of this technique? Do you think the author captured both voices equally well? Was there one character whose point of view you preferred reading?As we watch Lucy mature from a teenager to a young woman over the course of the novel, we also watch Daniel mature over centuries, carrying knowledge and wisdom from lifetime to lifetime. When they meet, he has centuries worth of experiences and she is still learning how to be an adult for the first time. Do you think Lucy and Daniel can find common ground in their shared lifetime, or do their differing experiences separate them too much?My Name is Memory is set in present day, with flashbacks to previous eras—including North Africa in 541 B.C., Crete in 899 B.C., England in 1918 A.D., St. Louis in 1932 A.D., and Georgia in 1968 A.D. Was there one particular setting you enjoyed most? Why?How do Lucy's experiences with her older sister Dana's mental illness affect her reaction to Daniel when he tells her about their past lives together? How much of her response do you think comes from fear? Do you think she wants to believe him?One of the themes of My Name is Memory is our perspective on the value of the here-and-now and the passage of time. As someone who has lived and remembers many lifetimes, Daniel sees life as fleeting and replaceable, and it affects how he treats himself and his family members. How does this change for him over the course of the book? What causes the change? Did the book make you think about the value of the present, or the value of the long view differently?Daniel insists on being called "Daniel" in each life, and he calls Lucy "Sophia," the name she had when he first fell in love with her. Why is he so attached to using these names? What is their significance to him? What changes at the end that allows him to finally call her "Lucy"?Daniel talks about human beings' ability to recognize other people's souls, and says, "Our souls reveal themselves in our face and body… Choose a person's face and study it carefully… Ask yourself what you know about the person, and if you open yourself to the information, you will find you know an overwhelming amount" (p. 55). Do you think this is true? Have you ever recognized something like this in a stranger?Throughout the novel, Daniel faces hardships that he believes are a direct result of his past choices. After rejecting his mother Molly's love by committing suicide, he is reborn to an abusive mother. After Daniel angered him hundreds of years ago, his brother Joaquim chases him through lifetimes, keeping Daniel and Sophia/Lucy apart. Do you believe in this idea, which some call karma, that our actions will come back to us?When Lucy looks back on her first meeting with Daniel she is filled with regret. "It must have been painful for him to realize [Sophia] was gone, replaced by a coward" (p. 196). Do you agree with Lucy's assessment of herself that she's a coward, or would you consider her brave? Does her level of bravery change over the course of the book? How or why?Brashares writes, as Daniel thinks he's about to lose Lucy, "If you didn't have a choice, you had to make a choice. If you didn't have options, you made some. You couldn't just let the world happen to you" (p. 505). Is this something he has always believed? Is it advice he has followed? To what consequences? How has it shaped his collection of lives?At the beginning of the novel, Daniel says that despite all his lives, "I've never had a child, and I've never gotten old. I don't know why" (p. 2). Why do you think these two rites of passage, so integrally a part of the human condition, have been denied him? Do you think he will get to experience both of these things in his "ultimate" life? Is the life with Lucy the one he's been waiting for?