The Memorist, by M.J. Rose
The Down and Dirty
Meer Logan is a woman haunted by memories. Unfortunately, the memories aren’t her own.
Or are they?
…it was hard to accept that she was unable to remember what she couldn’t
forget. The damned conundrum that had shaped her life.
The Memorist, by M.J. Rose
The Memorist is author M.J. Rose’s follow-up novel to The Reincarnationist and she has again taken themes of reincarnation, this time weaving 19th century Vienna and the musical world of Ludwig van Beethoven with modern-day terrorist plots. A fast paced historical thriller, The Memorist takes the best elements of The Reincarnationist and improves upon them.
Although there is one carry-over character present, The Memorist is most assuredly a stand-alone novel.
The Lit Crit
One of the pleasures of reading an M.J. Rose novel is her approach to historical fiction. While much of The Memorist takes place in present day Vienna, her forays into the 19th century are impeccably researched. She incorporates fascinating details into her story, many of which the reader might dismiss as part of the creative license a historical fiction writer so often invokes. It isn’t until reaching the author’s note at the end of the novel that the full extent of Rose’s research becomes apparent.
If the plot synopsis above sounds vaguely familiar, it's because the plot of The Memorist is almost identical to that of her earlier novel, The Reincarnationist. New characters, new memories of past lives, and new artifacts for the protagonist to chase, but the plot movment is the same.
However, the improvements over The Reincarnationist, a novel that A Reader’s Respite reviewed here, are quickly apparent. Characters are more fleshed-out and their motivations better explored, giving the reader closer relationship with the characters.
Rose’s penchant for over-populating her novels with characters is still present, but the improved characterizations make it much easier to keep track of just who is who.
But the very best quality of The Memorist is Rose’s ability to meld time and place, even over the span of centuries, while still maintaining a tight, fast-paced thiller that keeps you guessing to the end.
Recommended, of course, for anyone with interest in reincarnation, but also for those who have a love of classical music (Beethoven plays a pretty big role in this novel!) or for those who just want to see a good example of blending modern day with the past.
For the few out there who haven't read these novels....if The Memorist and it's predecessor, The Reincarnationist, sound interesting, leave a comment and A Reader's Respite will draw a random winner on Friday, February 13th (creepy, eh?) who will receive a hardback edition of The Memorist and a paperback edition of The Reincarnationist. Don't forget to check back here on the 13th to see if you've won!
Title: The Memorist
Author: M.J. Rose
Publisher: MIRA Books
Date: November 1, 2008
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