I enjoyed The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series by Ann Brashares. Her other adult novel, The Last Summer (of You and Me), had a little too much detailed sex for me to comfortably suggest it to anyone. But, sex aside, the book was okay. When I saw Brashares had a new book, I picked it up at my library.
The main character of the story is a man named Daniel, who can remember all of his reincarnated lives, dating back to his first life in North Africa in AD 541. In all of his lives, he is in love with, and searching for, Sophia. But Sophia doesn’t have a memory like his. She forgets each life, meaning that she forgets him.
The story skips around, giving us bits and pieces of Daniel’s past lives, sometimes interwoven with Sophia’s, other times not. These parts are nice, but the real story is in modern-day Virginia where Sophia, now Lucy, feels a strange attraction for a boy at her high school she hardly knows, Daniel. They have a shared moment in which he, with thousands of years of pent-up love for her, scares her away with his feelings and his desire for her to remember him from their past lives. Fearing he’s ruined it all, he disappears from her life, but that’s when she starts remembering.
Eventually, they find each other again (it is a love story after all). But there is, of course, a villain, a man named Joaquim, who in Daniel’s previous lives has been a brother to Daniel. Once, in what is modern-day Turkey, AD 773, he was an abusive husband to Sophia, whom Daniel then rescued. Now Joaquim, a man with a different, more sinister, kind of memory and way of being reincarnated, will do anything to keep Sophia from Daniel.
This book has an interesting idea, but I really didn’t think I would be able to get into it enough to finish it before it was due back at the library. As it turned out, it ended up only taking me a few days to read, which means I guess I got sucked into the love story.
The ending to the book was thoroughly disappointing. I’ve snooped around online, and there are hints that this book is the first in a trilogy. I suppose that the ending is more justifiable if that is the case. But sometimes, I just wish the story had a happy ending that was an ending, not a set-up for future books.
Rated: High. There is bad language, probably a dozen uses of the F-word; the rest is more mild. There are sex scenes, one that I would classify as moderately descriptive.