Do you believe in past lives and reincarnation ? Well, I have to admit that I'm not entirely convinced but I would say I possibly adhere to the notion of soulmates, which if you think about it is basically the same thing ! In any case, the leading lady in the novel - named Lucy, in this lifetime - is equally cynical so even the non-believers will feel at ease with the narrative.
My Name Is Memory follows the central character, Daniel, through a succession of his lives. I was initially a bit disappointed that each of his early lifetimes is condensed into a couple of pages so we don't really have time to get a feel for the period. However, it soon becomes clear that these glimpses of the past merely serve as background to show the entwined destinies of Daniel and his (for want of a better word) soulmate, Sophia. He has the gift of memory and the capacity to recognise souls, so he seeks out his beloved in each of his lives and the novel boils down to a will-they-won't-they love story.
There are a few nice touches, like the shapeshifting Ben who also has The Memory but accepts to come back in different identities, including the hilariously flirtatious Amita in Kalkota. Throw in an evil soul in the form of Joaquim, Daniel's nasty brother from his first life, to add a bit of tension and danger and you have an original and interesting plot.
I love the idea of past, present and future overlapping, with people leaving messages for their future reincarnations to find, but I would have liked each period to have been developed a bit further, especially in the First World War episode. The open end also left me wanting more - although this is such an intriguing and original concept that I could see this being the beginning of a whole series of novels. I enjoyed this as an adult but I can see it really appealing to teens who enjoy paranormal fiction too.
star rating : 4/5
RRP : £6.99
Paperback: 416 pages
Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks (20 Jan 2011)
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