My Name is Memory

My Name is Memory

by Ann 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781594485183
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 06/07/2011
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 149,566
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

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).

Read an Excerpt

I have lived more than a thousand years. I have died countless times. I forget precisely how many times. My memory is an extraordinary thing, but it is not perfect. I am human.

Excerpted from "My Name is Memory"
by .
Copyright © 2011 Ann Brashares.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Reading Group Guide

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.


Ann 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.

  • My 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?

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My Name Is Memory 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 351 reviews.
TessieSS More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed the book up until the last 2 pages. I can not figure out why the author ended the book the way she did. I am almost mad I read it because I needed to hear what was to happen with Lucy and Daniel since they he chased her for so long. I really did enjoy the unique ideas the book suggested and heck I wish it were true- we could remember- but why couldnt she just either ended it very happily or very tradically??? Is there going to be a sequel? Can't see how that would work- so what the heck happened? For the rest of my life I will wonder. If you like a book that leaves the end to your imagination- go for it- it is good but I didn't like the last 2 pages
gl More than 1 year ago
My Name is Memory is a powerful love story. Daniel is described as an old soul -- his soul has lived through countless reincarnations and he remembers each of his past lives. In the world that Ann Brashares creates, there are a handful of old souls who retain memories of their past lives. Everyone else lives their lives with their slates clean, with no clear memories of past experiences. Though Brashares suggests that the occasional sense of affinity that we have with people may have come from a friendship or a tie in a previous life. The few that retain memories of past lives can usually trace this ability or "long memory" to a deep trauma or a strong affinity of sorts. Of the old souls, Daniel stands out since his memory reaches back over 1,500 years to the time that he first met and fell in love with Sophia. Daniel's memory comes from his love of Sophia, as if he wills himself to remember everything about her. His love and fate lead Daniel to retain these memories each time he is reborn. Somehow Daniel and Sophia are reborn within similar times. They encounter each other in different cultures and continents over 1,500 years. Daniel remembers his past lives starting from when he first met Sophie in 520 A.D. to each of his reincarnations. In all the different reincarnations, Daniel knows Sophia. But equal to his joy in finding her is his disappointment that Sophia never recognizes Daniel. Daniel learns how to carry over skills and wealth from one life to another. He's skilled in medicine, in business, and in most trades. In each rebirth, Daniel prepares to meet Sophia and with each new encounter he is equally surprised and moved. He tries not to overwhelm her -- his love/obsession can surely frighten her away especially since she never seems to remember him. Daniel begins from scratch each time. Sophia's latest reincarnation is Lucy, a high school senior with a powerful crush on her mysterious young classmate named Daniel. Daniel moved to Lucy's high school at the start of their junior year and though he caused a stir because of his good looks and athleticism, he stood apart. He seemed more mature, a little lost and deeply sad -- all of which drew Lucy's attention. When Daniel acted differently too and ignored invitations from the most popular girls and spent time with the social outcasts, Lucy imagined herself helping him navigate through high school. Though they've barely spoken over the two years, Lucy daydreams about Daniel and feels drawn to him. Lucy's voice and character come across clearly: a young girl, enthusiastic, engaging with the usual romantic hopes. While Lucy is likable and draws you in to the story, it is Daniel that makes the book. Daniel is Memory -- and the plot revolves around his struggle to win Sophia. Daniel and Sophia face another obstacle -- there lives another old soul who remembers both Daniel and Sophia clearly. He had been Sophia's husband in a previous life and is determined to punish Sophia and Daniel for what he interprets as their betrayal of him. My Name Is Memory is a powerful love story and an engrossing read. Lucy and her high school reminded me a little of the Twilight series with Bella Swan and her obsession with Edward, but Lucy/Sophia is much more fun and likable than Bella. I recommend My Name Is Memory to someone looking for an unusual romance.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm pretty picky when it comes to stories. I hate being let down, I require a satisfying ending. This story was enjoyable! It does seem to be leading to a sequel. I was satisfied. I will say though, and this is my only complaint. It was so much like "Fallen" by Lauren Kate. We're talking almost identical story give or take some major details. Right down to the main characters names. Fallen characters names were Luce and Daniel and My Name is Memory is Lucy and Daniel, both stories deal with falling in love with the same girl throughout many different life times. The story was scary close to Fallen. Good, maybe better, but still a little too much the same. I really do think someone copied someone. Should it stop you from reading this book? No. :) Just throwing it out there though that it is almost exactly like Fallen. I still do recommend this book, it was an enjoyable read. I finished it in two days.
Loaf_of_Dead More than 1 year ago
I read this book in a matter of 2 days, while I was on vacation, because I NEEDED to finish it. I am not a fan of Ann Brashare's work, but I picked up this book because I have hearty love of the idea of reincarnation and soulmates. The ability of remember the details of past lives was never something I thought could be a burden until I read this book. The story is sad, and creates a level of anxiety for you while you read it. How can one man try for 1,500 years to finally be able to love his soulmate? I think she does a great job dealing with the emotions and the practicality of such a bizarre concept. I was hooked, but the ending was pretty terrible. Upon reading some of these reviews and discovering it's supposed to be a trilogy, I will tone down my rage at the ending. After I finished this book, I'm pretty sure I was in a depression for a good 2 days.
Allison-Paige More than 1 year ago
"My Name is Memory" is one of the best books I have read in a long time. Brashares is a master at creating meaningful characters, deliberate and beautiful language, and a page-turning plot. Amazing book, a must read.
HEDI09 More than 1 year ago
The book is haunting and exciting as the reader peeks into Daniel's lives and how they interweave with Lucy's past lives. Lucy is a girl with a crush on a boy who is a little different. She is drawn to him and cannot explain why. Daniel sees Lucy,but also knows her as Sophia, as he calls her,and sees into her soul and knows exactly where she has been because he has been there with her. Love it!!
Laura144 More than 1 year ago
I absolutely LOVE this amazing book. BEST BOOK I EVER READ! The drama of love throughout time creates an endless fantansy as Daniel searches to find his truel sole mate. The end of the book is a huge cliff hanger and there has yet to be a sequel. You fall for the characters almost as much as Daniel falls for Sophia. The simple idea that soles stay the same and get passed on to another body is incrediable. With Daniel's gift to remember his past lives, he takes the reader along the journey of his past lives and his search to be with Sophia. Through tragic losses and seperations their paths never seem to meet untill Daniel and Sophia are in the same school and grade. My favorite lives of Daniel with Sophia were the journey through the desert to save Sophias life, and when Daniel was in WWI and was brought to Sophia's aid in a hospital. In both situations they fall in love but the love to Sophia dies with her. Each death opens a new door to a new life and a new life of loving eachother only if Daniel can find Sophia.
cookieAF More than 1 year ago
This is the best romantic book ive read in years. If youre a helpless romantic, then this book is for you. I love daniel, his character is pure and his love, enduring. It makes you believe in true love all over again. I fell in love over and over again. Cant wait wait for the next book. So hurry up ann brashares
bookwormmom4 More than 1 year ago
Such a great premise to a story, so much more could have been done with characters and history, but it falls short. The end sucked.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Like so many other I thought the book was wonderful until the end I re-read the last few pages over and over again thinking I missed something but nope Just so disappointed
angel_peila More than 1 year ago
I would have loved the book if there was a sequel to it but unfortunately there doesn't seem to be. What a huge disappointment to come to the end and be left hanging on the edge like that.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm a sucker for a good love story so when I read the back of this book I immediately bought it. The story was very good until the ending.....there wasn't one. It's almost like the author got tired of writing and just quit. I was mad that I spent the money and all the time to read a book that wasn't finished. This was the first book I've read by this author and it will be the last.
Rachel2011 More than 1 year ago
This book sounds identical to Lauren Kate's Fallen series. But the Fallen series is outstanding and came out several years before this one. This book seems like it was written to copy fallen-same names of characters and even the same plot, wow! I recommend that you skip this one and go read the REAL novel: Fallen by Lauren Kate.
literatissima More than 1 year ago
My Name Is Memory is the romantic story of soulmates "Sophia" and "Daniel," told over lifetimes. The first time they met briefly in moments of tragedy, and because he is able to remember bits from his past lives, he always recognizes her in subsequent lives. I really enjoyed the possibilities of lifetimes of soulmate-tracking, the romance and the suspenseful adventure that brought us to the end. The only drawback for me was a slow start and a rather elementary take on reincarnation. But it's rather palatable for both the deeply spiritual and the non-believers alike. I would recommend this if you need a little romance in your life and you are willing to suspend disbelief and let your imagination run wild.
Giallegria More than 1 year ago
I've been staying away from romantic stories for years, and picked this one up nonetheless. I am SO glad that I did. I found the story to be very original, and in fact was the perfect escapist read. It takes you all over the world, back in time, and into the current day. I feel that the author has a true flair for language, and as I read, enjoying the story, I also found myself really appreciating the beauty of the emotions and backdrops she was describing. In a word: captivating. Read it; it's worth it.
PricelessReads More than 1 year ago
If you liked The Time Traveler's Wife, read this book. Although more reincarnation than time travel, the story is written with the same transitions between past and present. A little confusing at the get go, the story unfolds in a beautiful way that makes you want more of the past and more the present at the same time. I love how the author switches between first person and third person when changing times. This is a love story between Daniel who has ability to remember past lives and his soul mate who does not. The ending felt a bit unfinished, but I wouldn't want to ruin it for you. Overall, My Name is Memory was an enjoyable read with an original story that left me wishing for more chapters.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've seen a few reviews saying they didn't like this books ending because it left you to imagine what happens... Well just so you all know this is the first book in a trilogy. So the ended is set up to leave you wanted more and waiting for the next book. So this isn't the end of the road for Daniel and Lucy.
IA-girl-loves-2-read More than 1 year ago
I rated this story 4-stars, but I'm still a little ambivilent about it. At first, it seemed like a very similar storyline to the recent novel "Fallen" by Lauren Kate. In fact, the two primary characters have the same names (Daniel & Lucy/Luce). Both deal with memories, long loves, an evil nemesis, etc. But this book quickly changed from the YA-genre to a more adult theme as the characters aged. I loved when Ms. Brashares took us through centuries, countries, cities and families through Daniel's eyes. I felt as though I'd traveled those places with him - and each new "life" helped make the Daniel of today more real. Lucy/Sophia was a mix - from unsure, insecure teen to courageous, trusting adult. And their love story through the years was wonderful. I do agree with other reviews that the storyline took a sharp turn about 3/4 of the way through and seemed very rushed at the end. I also agree that the ending was weaker than it could/should have been. But I'm sure that if this is merely the first in a series, that I'll read the sequels.
LASR_Reviews More than 1 year ago
originally posted at: ***** The purity of a love that spans the ages make My Name is Memory awe-inspiring. This fantastic, spellbinding tale enlivens the imagination and takes the reader on a hopscotch journey through time. The possibilities of past lives and immortal memory joined with a love that transcends time lures the reader into Daniel and Lucy's 2009 story of love-a love that has been thwarted through the centuries and a multitude of lives for them both, but only Daniel remembers these lives. Daniel gives the reader a glimpse of sixth-century Africa as he lived his first life and made a mistake that he has tried to atone for ever since. In another of his lives that he lived during World War I, when he lay dying in an England manor/ hospital, he shares a beautiful story of his short time with his soul mate. This time becomes extra special when Daniel and Lucy touch each other's lives in twenty-first century America. His first person accounts of these stories and others give an authenticity to the events-making them so believable. As the story builds, Lucy and Daniel's points-of-view alternate with the chapters, keeping the reader involved with both characters and the overwhelming inner conflicts they each have to work through as they mature from their senior year in high school and through college. As the plot gains momentum, danger increases and events race along at a fever pace. Daniel's connections from centuries past, some helpful and some deadly, come to influence their 2009 lives. Lucy does not have a memory like Daniel's but her youthful determination and commitment to her newly-discovered soul mate give the feeling that her need to be with Daniel is just as strong as his need has been to be with her since the sixth-century. Ann Brashares' insight into the emotions of young adults as they come to know themselves and mature beyond being shelf-absorbed brings depth to the story and makes the characters come alive. Her engaging writing style smoothes the way for the reader to be transported to far-away places with strange-sounding names, to feel the horrors of wars and the cruelty the disenfranchised suffer at the hands of the rich and powerful regardless of the time in history. It also reveals and celebrates the wonder of love that endures. My Name is Memory is a captivating, open-ended story that begs for a sequel. I'll be watching for it.
ilovePEETA More than 1 year ago
I think this book is fantastic! I loved all of the intricacies throughout the book. It was very interesting to read about Lucy and Daniel's connected lives in Africa, Constantinople, Pergamum, England and other places. Lucy's struggle to remember and to find Daniel in the present is quite an adventure. The book is a bit slowed paced. I usually finish bigger books in a day or two, but it took me a week to read "My Name is Memory". Overall, I loved the book, and I look forward to reading the next one!!
alyson on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Still trying to decide how I felt about the ending. Really enjoyed the book until the end.
titania86 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Daniel has been in love with Sophia for hundreds of years. He¿s not a vampire or an immortal or a demon, but merely a human man who can remember his past lives. Daniel and Sophia¿s lives have intertwined more than once and things usually end unhappily. In 2004, he has found her (now named Lucy) in Hopewood, Virginia with his ability to recognize souls he previously encountered. He purposefully avoids her for years through high school and finally tries to speak to her on the day before graduation. He only succeeds in frightening her with his talk of their past and pushing her away. They separate and Daniel figures it¿s best if he no longer interferes in her life. A few years later, she can¿t forget about him, so she researches some of his claims and tries to find him. A complication arises when Joaquim, Daniel¿s brother from his first life, poses as Daniel and dates Lucy. Over the years, Joaquim has cultivated a hatred for Daniel and seeks to sabotage Daniel and Lucy¿s relationship. Will Daniel seek Lucy out and realize what Joaquim is doing?I didn¿t really know what to expect from Anne Brashares since I haven¿t read anything else that she¿s written, but I was completely blown away by this book. I figured it would be cheesy and cliché because the basic plot has been done before. I couldn¿t have been more wrong. The story is told in alternating chapters from the point of view of Lucy and Daniel. Lucy¿s narrative takes place in the present and features her journey from skepticism to acceptance and the discoveries she makes along the way. Daniel¿s story, on the other hand, takes place largely in his past lives, showing how their lives have affected each other¿s and how each of those lives has ended. I enjoyed Daniel¿s point of view more because of the span and depth of his memories. Brashares excels at creating different moods and settings for her characters with his narrative. It also showed why he has such strong feelings for Lucy, instead of just defaulting to fate. One aspect that I found especially interesting was that Daniel wasn¿t present for any incredibly famous historical events. It would have been contrived if he had. He even points out that in the past before information could be instantly exchanged, important events went generally unnoticed to those in the rest of the world. It made the fantastical premise of the novel more grounded in reality and believable. Plus, Daniel¿s chapters were in a different, less modern font, giving his story a different feel and look from Lucy¿s modern story telling. The only part of the novel that I didn¿t like was the ending. There is no real resolution for the couple at the novel¿s conclusion. I feel incredibly emotionally invested in their story, so there better be another book! I would definitely recommend this to fans of books like The Time Traveler¿s Wife, where love spans time and space.
MonicaM7 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Interesting story. I liked how the perspective kept changing from that of David Grey's and Lucy's, creating a story from the two parts.
TheLibraryhag on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In Daniel's world, almost everyone is reincarnated at least once. The difference between Daniel and most people is that he can remember all his previous lives in vivid detail. Through the centuries he has been trying to connect with his one true love, Sophia. In his current life he has found her in Lucy. Lucy finds herself drawn to the mysterious Daniel even though they have never spoken. But when they finally do talk, he frightens her by calling her another name and talking about past lives and she runs away. Despite this, and a separation of years, she can not forget him.I really enjoyed this book. I think it is well written and I found it hard to put down. The book asks a lot of questions about life as well as just being a good love story. You can enjoy it on several levels. I was sort of sad to get to the end.
butterflybaby on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I'd give this 3 1/2 stars. The story was good but I would have liked to see it go somewhere. I felt unsastisfied with the book, but I'm having a hard time putting my finger on just what was missing. I felt there was to much time spent on the hero of the story and his obsession with the heroine but not a lot of time spent on her. I would recommend it. I also think that I will probably reread it again at a different time.