I’m Kim Alexander and this is Fiction Nation. The book is The Memorist by M.J. Rose.
You don’t have to really have been a heart-and-soul devotee of something to enjoy reading about it. I’m lukewarm at best on homicidal maniacs and cannibalism but I sure liked Silence of the Lambs. And while I don’t have much interest in the interior life of Martha Stewart, Philip Galanes’ Emma’s Table was fascinating. If I only read books about things I was really into, there’d be more cats who shop for shoes populating my shelves. (Note to self, call publisher with great idea. Is Puss in Boots too on the nose?)
Anyway, a good writer will just drag you along no matter what the contrivances of the plot. You’ll care about deaf musical geniuses, confused possibly time-traveling young women and mad with grief journalists. You’ll accept that the girl maybe is having past life experiences because between the covers, it’s all true.
Which is a long and roundabout way of saying that M.J. Rose’s The Memorist was well plotted and interesting enough to keep my attention completely even though I am not a true believer when it comes to reincarnation. I’m too busy trying to make this life work to wonder if I was Nefertiti or Marie Antoinette or Helga the goat girl, more likely in some distant place and time. But like I said, for those several hundred pages, I bought it. I cared whether the heroine, Meer Logan, would ever figure out why she kept coming unstuck from time, and I felt her loneliness and isolation, because rather than revel in her ability to see directly into the past, she treated her condition like a mental illness, a far more realistic take as far as I was concerned. The plot of course is bigger than one woman’s problems way bigger and I actually found the scope of the mystery to be more implausible than the treatment of reincarnation. But you can’t blame the author for aiming high, she’s got a series of several more in this line, with different players but the same general theme; figure out who you are, who you were, do some globetrotting to exotic places and interact with some hot guys. Sure, chances are one of them will be the guy who ended your last life, but that’s what makes a plot, right?